Rwanda’s Development-driven Trade Policy Framework was prepared by a team in UNCTAD and the Government of Rwanda.
For many years UNCTAD, as the focal point in the United Nations for trade and development, has highlighted the necessity of complementing trade liberalization with building and strengthening competitive productive capacities in developing countries, especially least developed countries such as
Rwanda. It has become apparent that the international opportunities presented by trade for promoting broad-based development have not been fully exploited by many developing countries, due especially to weak productive capacities.
We are thus pleased to produce this innovative report, with the Government of Rwanda, on a potential trade policy framework for Rwanda. It gives priority to the articulation of a trade policy aimed specifi cally at improving competitive productive capacities to trade internationally and locally, as Rwanda continues
with economic reform and participation in regional and global trade forums. It provides a blueprint for preparing the Government’s fi rst-ever trade policy, as an integral part of the country’s overall development plan and strategy. This is especially important in light of the immense structural weaknesses of Rwanda’s
trade activities, and the urgency of addressing the challenges emerging from the global economic crisis. It will further guide Rwanda’s participation in regional and global trade negotiations.
The trade policy framework also emphasizes the links with human development and poverty eradication. This is consistent with the priorities enshrined in Rwanda’s Vision 2020, Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the
Accra Accord of UNCTAD XII.
I am hopeful that this step towards the articulation of a comprehensive trade policy will lay the foundations for Rwanda to derive meaningful development benefi ts from trade.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD