The PSF Chief Executive officer Stephen Ruzibiza
The Private Sector Federation has urged local producers to embark on producing quantity but “Quality” products in order to favorably compete on international market.
The PSF Chief Executive officer Stephen Ruzibiza voiced the call during the Breakfast meeting with local producers and exporters in an event organized by PSF to discuss on how possible the federation can facilitate the exporters.
“Our main objective is to facilitate our exporters to access the external markets and this will boost our exports and reduce the trade deficit that’s why the Export Growth Fund was established,” Ruzibiza said.
The event was also meant to link local producers to the exporters, discuss how easily exporters can access the Export Growth Fund as a well as identifying all the current challenges hindering the exporters.
Ruzibiza added “We encourage our producers to produce quantity but also quality products that will favorably compete on international market and as PSF we are ready to continue providing the technical assistance to our exporters for them to achieve our targets,”
In order to facilitate exporters, government established Export Growth Fund that would provide financial assistance especially at abated loans.
The Export Growth Facility, the government-driven facility which aims to foster SMEs active in the export sector through three separate but interlinked components including the Investment Catalyst fund to encourage private sector investments in exports through subsidized loans at 10% interest per annum. Previously, firms were getting loans at average short and long term interest rates that ranged from 17% to 19%.
There is also Matching grant fund aimed at encourage penetration into external markets by offering financing of up to 50% of total project cost not going beyond $100,000 in funding and Export Guarantee facility to enhance credit worthiness of exporters (majorly short term) by providing guarantees of up to 80% of value of goods to export.
However, despite the new Fund, exporters have been reluctant to approach the Bank for the subsidized loans which experts say could hamper the relevance of the Facility if not utilized effectively.
“Only eight people have approached us meaning that the turn up is still low,” Dr Livingstone Byamungu, the chief Investment Officer at the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) said.
He said that government invested in Rwf 15 billion and a maximum loan an exporter can get is Rwf 900 million adding that the doors were open for local investors to utilize the Fund for the benefit of the country’s growth.
By Emmanuel Kalema