Rwanda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a +10.6% increase in the first quarter of 2018, driven by strong performances in the agricultural, industrial and services sectors, which contributed 8%, 7% and 12%, respectively, to the country’s GDP. Reportedly, this is the second consecutive quarter of GDP growth; an increase of +10.5% was recorded in the final quarter of 2017. Made-in-Rwanda products are also said to have had a good start to the year, with textiles, leather products and clothes increasing +24%.

The Government is reported to be in the process setting up a strategy to develop the leather, textile and clothing manufacturing sectors. The plan is expected to increase exports to US$43 million, while decreasing imports of articles such as second-hand shoes, to US$33 million by 2019 (from US$124 million in 2015), resulting in savings of US$76 million over a three-year period and generating 25,655.

In 2016, Rwanda is said to have increased taxes on imported second-hand clothes from US$0.2 to US$2.5 per kg, and from US$0.2 to US$3 per kg of used shoes.

Sources: East Africa Monitor/New Times