Why trade facilitation is important for Rwanda

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{{IMPORTANCE OF TRADE FACILITATION FOR RWANDA}} Trade facilitation is an important driver for the country’s trade growth given the significant contribution of trade to GDP growth and economic development of any country. Rwanda faces a lot of barriers both at import and export processes by its land locked geographical nature and therefore, have to depend on the effectiveness and efficiency of customs authorities at national and regional levels. Trade Facilitation is thus critical to ensure that both Rwanda’s imports and exports reach their intended destination in a competitive manner, enabling the realisation of the full trade potential of the country. In fact Trade Facilitation reduces supply side constraints, transactions costs and enhances competitiveness of export products on the international markets. {{TRADE FACILITATION IN RWANDA}} Time to export (border compliance) from Rwanda in 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report19 is 3.4 days while the average in Sub‐Saharan Africa is 4 days. Time to import (border compliance) in the same year is 3 days in comparison with the average in Sub‐Saharan Africa which is 5.2 days. The results came after a reform program undertaken by the Government to promote trade and make Rwanda a hub in East Africa. For instance, on Trading Across Borders, the Government eased trading across borders by removing the mandatory pre-shipment inspection for imported products which significantly reduced multiple requirements and steps. Over the last two decades, Rwanda made robust trade reforms to create a conducive business environment. Rwanda now ranks 38th in the ease of doing business among 190 economies according to the 2020 World Bank Doing Business index, being the second best in Sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius from 143rd position in 2008 to 29th position in 2018. Rwanda is ranked 88th on Trading Across Borders. Three years before, Rwanda was on the 131st position in the same category, meaning that the country improved in this aspect by 43 positions.