During his annual address of the nation, Rwanda President Paul Kagame highlighted the country’s strong economic output, producing seeds locally has effectively bridged the import-export gap. Agriculture exports in 2020 alone fetched over $400 million.
A good part of that success was driven by gains in the coffee sector. In the Chinese market, coffee sales witnessed astronomical growth largely driven by online platforms promoted by Chinese giant Alibaba. This was a 400% rise in 2020 according to Alibaba.
Rwandan coffee brands debuted on the online Chinese market selling on Tmall Global – Alibaba’s cross-border import platform. The deal was effected through an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a partnership signed between Rwanda and Alibaba in 2018. This platform opens up the Chinese market to small African businesses aiming to participate in cross-border electronic trade.
The rise in Rwanda coffee sales into the Chinese market is an endorsement of the popularity of Rwandan reports with Chinese customers. Overall Rwandan coffee reports are down 6 percent and revenues down by 11%. Other agricultural exports selling fast in the Chinese market through online platforms are chilies. Rwandan products are mainly promoted on Fliggy (Alibaba’s tourism site).
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