TRADE and TRADE Advisory take the DSM to Rwanda

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Expanding and diversifying its exports has become an urgent priority for the government of Rwanda, a country that has been attracting increasing international attention for the pace of its economic reforms and its outlook-looking approach to trade and foreign direct investment. In an initiative driven by the International Growth Centre (ICG) at the London School of Economics (LSE), TRADE has been assisting the country with its market expansion efforts, using the TRADE-DSM (Decision Support Model)® to identify and prioritise high-potential export opportunities.
According to Mr Martin Cameron, managing director of TRADE Advisory (the NWU spin-out company where much of the ongoing development work for the DSM takes place): ‘Rwanda has a number of strengths, including its expanding manufacturing capacity, that make it an ideal trading partner for various countries in Europe, North America, and Eastern and South-East Asia. Among its current high-potential export sectors, according to the DSM findings, are processed agricultural products, agrochemicals, specialised textiles and garments, construction materials, and metal and wood products. Interestingly, too, the country has export diversification potential in the (as-yet-unexplored) areas of aeronautical maintenance, mining and drilling maintenance, and plastics manufacture.’   
By pinpointing the most promising export opportunities in high-potential markets from innumerable worldwide country-product combinations (using a sophisticated ‘screening’ methodology), the DSM approach shortens the time it would normally take to identify export markets and adds crispness and accuracy to the decision-making process. ‘The added value of the DSM approach for Rwanda’, added Martin, ‘is that for each product under consideration, it provides a detailed overview of which markets currently demand the product and where Rwanda’s additional export potential lies, taking into account factors such as trade costs and import tariffs. This evidence-based analysis complements the general thrust of Rwanda’s existing National Export Strategy.’