UAE-Rwanda bilateral trade hits $1.1 billion mark

Rwanda eyes collaboration in tech, AI and space technology
UAE-Rwanda bilateral trade hits $1.1 billion mark
Between 2000 and 2023, 14 companies from the UAE registered their businesses in Rwanda

The UAE and Rwanda have witnessed a significant milestone in their bilateral trade, which exceeded the $1.1 billion mark in 2023. The ambassador of Rwanda to the UAE, John Mirenge, highlighted the robust and growing ties between the two nations, emphasizing Rwanda’s willingness to expand ties in new and advanced sectors such as the fourth industrial revolution. Currently, the UAE is Rwanda’s leading trade partner, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Horticulture leads the way

Exports from Rwanda to the UAE focus particularly on the horticulture sector. Rwanda currently exports approximately 60 tonnes of horticultural products to the UAE weekly, with expectations of further growth. Ambassador Mirenge also highlighted the significant role of partnerships with major retailers in driving the growth of horticultural exports to the UAE and other Gulf countries.

E-commerce and logistics

In the logistics sector, 26 Rwandan companies are registered and operate their businesses in Dubai. Ambassador Mirenge encouraged these companies to expand their businesses and welcomed others to explore the vast opportunities across the UAE.

For its part, DP World operates an inland port in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, which provides flexible maritime means. Moreover, DP World is currently expanding its facilities in Kigali. RwandAir has also expanded its operations between Rwanda and the UAE, introducing freighter services with dedicated cargo aircraft. Currently, three flights a week between Sharjah and Kigali mainly carry agricultural products from Kigali and return with general cargo.

In the realm of e-commerce, over 100 Rwandan companies are actively trading on the platform, offering popular products such as coffee and tea. The platform, provided by DP World, facilitates B2B transactions and offers end-to-end supply chain solutions.

Investment opportunities

Between 2000 and 2023, 14 companies from the UAE registered their businesses in Rwanda with investments reaching over $320 million. The UAE companies in Rwanda mainly operate in logistics, hospitality, mineral processing, manufacturing, road safety, transportation, and agriculture.

Ambassador Mirenge also noted the growing bilateral cooperation in health, education, information and communications technology (ICT), innovation, and government experience exchange.

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New areas of cooperation

Ambassador Mirenge emphasized the importance of exploring new areas of cooperation, particularly in the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, and space technology. Collaborative efforts between the UAE Center for Fourth Industrial Revolution, Rwanda Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the space agencies of both countries play a major role in advancing cooperation in these sectors. Additionally, sustainable environment collaboration focusing on urbanization, renewable energy, and green growth aligns with the ambitions of both the UAE and Rwanda.

Finally, Rwanda highlighted the growing opportunities in the education and sports sectors, with Rwandan students benefiting from scholarships that the UAE government offers to study at universities in the UAE. Moreover, Rwanda’s participation in sports events like the Tour of Sharjah cycling race opens new avenues for collaboration in sports.

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