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Cablegate: Imf Lowers Gdp Growth Estimate to 3.7 Percent

VZCZCXRO7746
PP RUEHGI RUEHRN
DE RUEHLGB #0718 3071739
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031739Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6397
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP 0094
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0300

UNCLAS KIGALI 000718

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV RW
SUBJECT: IMF LOWERS GDP GROWTH ESTIMATE TO 3.7 PERCENT

1. (SBU) IMF Resident Representative Dmitry Gershenson told
Emboff November 2 the IMF has lowered its estimate of
Rwanda's GDP growth in 2009 from 5.6 percent to 3.7 percent.
The new estimate follows consultations between the Government
of Rwanda (GOR) and an IMF mission led by Catherine McAuliff
that is currently visiting Rwanda. Both the IMF and Rwandan
Minister of Finance James Musoni attributed the lower growth
rate to repercussions from the global economic downturn and
reduced domestic agricultural production in the second half
of 2009.

2. (U) Minister of Agriculture Agnes Kalibata told the press
October 23, that growth in agricultural production was likely
to decline from 16 percent in 2008 to 7-8 percent in 2009 due
to late rains and ongoing drought in the Eastern and Southern
provinces. Strong growth in agricultural productivity over
the last two years has helped offset declines in exports,
manufacturing and tourism during the same period due to the
global economic downturn.

3. (U) During the first half of 2009, exports declined by 32
percent and visitors to the national parks declined by 18
percent compared to 2008, according to an October 15 Ministry
of Trade and Industry report to the Private Sector Cluster
Group. Last year Rwanda's economy grew 11.2 percent, largely
propelled by gains in agriculture. In 2008, agriculture
represented 33 percent of GDP, according to the National
Institute of Statistics "National Accounts 1999-2008"
released in mid-October.

4. (U) Local bankers and officials at the Ministry of Finance
told Emboff November 2, they are seeing increased activity in
construction and minerals exports, and they predict higher
GDP growth rates in 2010. According to statistics released
from the Ministry of Trade and Industry on October 15, local
and foreign investment has increased by 213 percent in 2009
compared to 2008. Construction represents 44 percent of
total new investment.
SYMINGTON

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