UK-Rwanda trade soars: Imports surge by 122.2%


In the first quarter of 2023, the trade relationship between Rwanda and the UK has shown remarkable growth, with the total reaching £42 million (over 6.3 billion Frw). This marks an impressive 23.5% increase and an additional £8 million compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

Concurrently, Rwanda’s exports to the UK have flourished, totalling £22 million, showcasing a notable 12.0% rise, equivalent to £3 million, as reported by IGIHE.

Analyzing the composition of the trade flow, the UK’s exports to Rwanda in the period spanning the fourth quarter to the end of the first quarter of 2023 encompassed £14 million (63.6%) in goods and £8 million (36.4%) in services. However, these figures experienced a downturn of 17.6% to £3 million between the first quarters of 2023 and 2022.

Significantly, the UK’s imports from Rwanda have surged by an astounding 122.2%, reaching a total of £20 million. This translates to an impressive £11 million increase compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The top five goods exported from the UK to Rwanda comprise automobiles, telecommunications and audio equipment, scientific instruments, food items, and clothing.

During the first quarter of 2023, the UK’s imports from Rwanda were dominated by coffee, tea, vegetables, fruits, clothing, animal products, and chemical items.

The August 18, 2023 report issued by the UK Department of Trade and Investment underscores that the UK stood as the sixth-largest global economy in 2022, while Rwanda held the 141st position.

Among Rwanda’s prominent exports to the world, the United Kingdom is a leading market for precious stones and metals, generating $365 million for the country in 2021. Coffee, tea, and spices were also substantial earners for Rwanda, totalling $193 million.

On the global scale of imports, petroleum products emerged as the primary commodity, with expenditures reaching $412 million in 2021. This robust economic exchange, as highlighted by the report, signifies the burgeoning partnership and economic synergy between Rwanda and the UK.