This photo taken on Nov. 3, 2023 shows an electronic poster of the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Xuhui District of Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)
The sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) holds immense importance for Rwanda, Rwandan Ambassador to China James Kimonyo has said.
This year’s CIIE, taking place from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10 in Shanghai, drew guests from 154 countries, regions and international organizations with over 3,400 exhibitors.
“The China International Import Expo holds immense importance for Rwanda. It is now our 6th participation in this prestigious event, and over the years, it has played a pivotal role in increasing Rwanda’s exports to China,” Kimonyo told Xinhua in a recent written interview.
Data from China’s customs show that the total bilateral trading volume between China and Rwanda in 2022 reached 477 million U.S. dollars.
The East African nation’s exports to China soared from 28.9 million dollars in 2017 to 70.5 million dollars in 2022.
“This expo serves as a remarkable gateway for Rwandan products to enter the Chinese market, helping us tap into the enormous consumer base and business opportunities that China offers,” said Kimonyo.
Rwanda expected to increase awareness of “Made in Rwanda” products within the Chinese market at this year’s expo, according to the embassy.
At least 15 Rwandan exhibitors from various companies participated in this year’s CIIE. They have showcased a diverse range of Rwandan products from coffee and tea to chili and honey.
Prominent Rwandan companies, including Rwanda Farmers Coffee Company, Rwashoscco, Meiyi Group, Baho Coffee, G-Step, and Davet Ltd, among others, have represented a wide spectrum of high-quality “Made in Rwanda” goods at the event.
“Moreover, the CIIE showcases Rwanda’s investment opportunities, not just in terms of trade but also attracting Chinese investors to explore the Rwandan market. By participating in the CIIE, we strengthen our position as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment,” the ambassador said.
Kimonyo also noted that the CIIE has become a valuable platform for Rwanda to raise awareness about its local products, establish and strengthen trade partnerships, and attract investments that contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Emmanuel Rwibasira (L), the managing director of Rwandan agribusiness company Rusango Real, checks the growth of chilies with his colleague in Kigali, Rwanda on Nov. 6, 2023. (Photo by Huang Wanqing/Xinhua)
“It also enables us to promote ’Visit Rwanda,’ encouraging tourism and fostering cultural exchange between our nations. The significance of this expo cannot be overstated in advancing Rwanda’s economic and trade interests with China,” he said.
The diplomat further said the CIIE platform offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality and diversity of Rwandan goods, creating a positive impression among Chinese consumers and businesses.
It is also being used to connect Rwandan exporters with Chinese buyers in order to foster long-term partnership and enhance trade relations.
The official believes building business relationships is vital for sustainable growth and continued expansion of the country’s exports to China.
A statement from the embassy said Rwanda sees the CIIE as an opportunity to promote the country’s investment prospects.
“We are eager to attract potential Chinese investors to Rwanda, providing them with insights into the favorable investment climate, business-friendly policies, and the numerous opportunities available in our country,” said the statement.■
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