Rwanda - International trade
Rwanda's main export partners are Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Pakistan, Spain, and Kenya. Most of Rwanda's coffee and tea are shipped to Germany and other European countries. Rwanda's main import partners are Kenya, Tanzania, the United States, the Benelux countries, and France. Rwanda imported motor vehicles, textiles, fuels and machinery. In 1998, Rwanda generated US$58 million in exports, but imports cost Rwanda more than US$240 million that same year.
Tea and coffee continue to be the country's most important exports. In 1999, they represented 70 percent of Rwanda's exports. Lately, Rwandan businesses have been exploring other agriculturally-based exports that would be equally suited to the country's small farms, steep slopes, and cool climates. The feasibility of many of these new proposals to expand the agriculture industry is limited by the country's high transportation costs.
Although Rwanda's primary partners have been African and European countries, recently there have been significant purchase imports from the United States. Northrop Grumman sold a US$16 million commercial radar system and Lucent Technologies made a sale of US$25 million for a wireless air loop telephone system. It remains to be seen whether Rwandan-U.S. trade will continue.