Cablegate: Embassy Kigali Participation in Seventh

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary. Post sponsored a booth at the seventh
annual Rwandan Trade Fair that showcased Rwandan
exports to the United States and provided information
on the theme "Global Business Partners." The
presentation, the first of its kind to be offered by
any diplomatic mission in Rwanda, was well received by
the Rwandan government and the business community.
End summary.


2. The Government of Rwanda (GOR), through the Rwanda
Private Sector Federation, held its seventh annual
International Trade Fair August 7-15 in Kigali.
Boasting over 240 vendors and businesses in and around
Rwanda, the fair attracted over 100,000 visitors. The
theme of the fair was "Producing For Export."

3. Post's Economic and Commercial Section sponsored a
booth at the annual event, the first of its kind by
any diplomatic mission in Rwanda. Under the theme
"Global Business Partners," the booth highlighted
current Rwandan exports to the United States and
opportunities under the Africa Growth and Opportunity
Act (AGOA). In addition, U.S. Mission staff provided
hundreds of U.S. Foreign Commercial Service brochures
and other information materials. A computer
workstation was available for accessing information on via the Internet.

4. The USG-sponsored booth showcased a number of
Rwandan products as export success stories under AGOA
or Generalized Specialized Preferences (GSP). The
items included handicrafts, baskets, textile goods,
coffee, tea, peppers, and other agricultural products
representing eight business organizations in Rwanda.


5. The American booth attracted a great deal of
favorable attention both with visitors at the fair and
in local media. President Paul Kagame paid a personal
visit to the booth and was impressed by the items
displayed and American interest in Rwandan products.
Rwandan television and newspapers lauded the positive
impact of the Embassy's efforts to promote further
exports from Rwanda to the United States. Moreover,
hundreds of visitors, including several key ministers
and elected representatives, took a keen interest in
the booth, and many were surprised that items were
already being exported to the United States. During
closing ceremonies for the Trade Fair, Post received a
trophy award for having made the most positive impact
towards the overall fair theme of "Producing For


6. Comment: Rwanda's participation in AGOA has begun
and continues to show great promise. Rwandan
entrepreneurs and those with venture capital are
beginning to take a strong interest in trade
opportunities under AGOA and GSP. The GOR is also
enthusiastic about supporting these efforts. With
continued stability in the country, prospects are good
for further expansion of exports under AGOA that will
be important for Rwanda's overall trade balance.
Export-oriented job growth will also help lead Rwanda
away from aid dependence to greater integration into
the global economy. Rwanda has a niche in that global
economy that can be exploited to its advantage
economically. Specialty coffee, exquisite basketry,
spicy peppers, and beautifully sewn textile goods
ranging from aprons to patch quilts can command a
market niche and profit that can have a tremendous
impact in this very poor country. American marketing
and distribution linkages are beginning to take root
and will need to be cultivated and supported in every
way possible. Americans also know about Rwanda and its
efforts to rebuild from the horrible losses of the
1994 Genocide and war. Capitalizing on these
advantages, Rwandan exports to the United States help
build a free market economy here, create a stronger
commercial partnership between the two nations, and
hold the promise of a better life for thousands of
impoverished Rwandan families. End Comment.


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