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The campaign to promote locally-made goods among Rwandans has got a huge boost with the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and the Trade and Industry Ministry organising an exhibition targeting Rwandan producers.

The expo, part of the “Buy Made in Rwanda, Buy Quality” campaign, will showcase goods produced in the country to assure buyers of their quality, according to Donatien Mungwarareba, the PSF director for advocacy, communication and labour relations.

“We want to change people’s mind-set about locally-produced goods and create awareness among Rwandans to support local industries by buying their products,” he said.

Most people still think that imported goods, like furniture or construction materials and foodstuffs, are of superior quality, which PSF and government are trying to change the “Buy Made in Rwanda, Buy Quality” campaign.

Mungwarareba said the expo, slated for February 25 – March 2, aims at showing that Rwanda also makes products of the same or even superior quality compared to those made by developed countries.

He said the fair is targeting local producers from across all the sectors of the economy.

According to the Minister for Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, the exhibition is about the “Buy Made in Rwanda, Buy Quality” campaign organised with an objective to change the mind-set of Rwandans as far as locally-made products are concerned.

“Under the campaign, we also want to ensure that industries enhance quality, branding, standards and packaging of locally-produced goods, besides improving operations along the value chain generally.

“We are confident that, when these are achieved, this will boost productivity and competitiveness of “Made in Rwanda” goods and help narrow the country’s trade deficit gap as more local goods will be exported to the region and elsewhere,” the minister said.

Rwandan trade deficit widened by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, from a deficit of $444.37 million to a deficit of $461.90 million as a result of decline in formal exports by 6.7 per cent in value compared to an increase in formal imports value by 1.2 per cent, according to the central bank.

About 250 exhibitors are expected to participate in the seven-day expo at Gikondo Show Grounds in Kicukiro District.

The New Times