On Thursday, Ambassador Kirk met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, where he congratulated President Kagame on the recent ratification and entry into force of the U.S.-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), and on the progress made in deepening trade and investment relations under the U.S.-Rwanda Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
Ambassador Kirk and President Kagame discussed how to capitalize on the ratification of BIT to foster greater investment between the United States and Rwanda. They also considered regional issues, including a potential new trade and investment partnership between the United States and the East African Community.
Total two-way goods trade between Rwanda and the United States was $149 million in 2011, up from $51 million in 2010. U.S exports in 2011 were $119 million and U.S imports totaled $31 million. The large increase in trade was driven by Rwanda’s purchase of Boeing aircraft. Other top U.S. exports in 2011 were vaccines, medical devices, and electronics. Coffee comprised over 95 percent of U.S. imports from Rwanda in 2011. Other leading imports from Rwanda were tungsten, pyrethrum (a natural insecticide), and baskets.