The Extent of Engagement in Global Value Chains by Firms in Rwanda

34 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2019 Last revised: 15 Aug 2019

See all articles by Garth Frazer

Garth Frazer

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Johannes Van Biesebroeck

K.U.Leuven; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August 13, 2019


Using administrative data for an exhaustive sample of formally registered firms, reveals that the engagement of Rwandan firms in global value chains (GVCs) is remarkably limited. The paper documents several patterns of firm-level exports and compares firm characteristics between exporters and non-exporters. It also illustrates which firm-level characteristics are good predictors for a variety of extensive margins of export and import activities. The analysis includes firms from three goods-producing sectors, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing, but focuses mostly on manufacturing firms. The results indicate large differences between small and large exporters in terms of export market participation, type of products exported, and destinations served. GVC engagement has increased over the 2008-2016 sample period, especially for manufacturing firms, but this is a slow process with frequent set-backs.

Keywords: Construction Industry, Common Carriers Industry, Food & Beverage Industry, Plastics & Rubber Industry, Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies, General Manufacturing, Pulp & Paper Industry, Textiles, Apparel & Leather Industry, Mining & Extractive Industry (Non-Energy), Food Security, International Trade and Trade Rules

Suggested Citation

Frazer, Garth and Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, The Extent of Engagement in Global Value Chains by Firms in Rwanda (August 13, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8979. Available at SSRN:

Garth Frazer (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4

Johannes Van Biesebroeck

K.U.Leuven ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
B-3000 Leuven
+3216326793 (Phone)
+3216326796 (Fax)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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