Saturday April 20 2013

China-Uganda bilateral trade posts 35 per cent growth

By Stephen Otage

The Chinese government has lauded its duty free policy on Ugandan goods entering its market arguing that it is responsible for deepening bilateral trade between both countries.

Speaking at a media reception at the Chinese Embassy in Kampala on Monday, Zhao Yali, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda said last year alone, bilateral trade between China and Uganda reached $538 million indicating a 35 per cent increase from 2011 because of the free access into the Chinese market.

He said statistics from Uganda Investment Authority indicate that between 1993 and 2012, 310 Chinese enterprises registered in Uganda with a planned investment of $683 million which has created 33,000 jobs for Ugandans.

Last year, 45 Chinese enterprises registered in Uganda with investments worth $86 million while in the first quarter of 2013, the investment has reached $15 million which is almost three times more.

“Over 1,400 municipal engineering equipment, worth $100 million financed by a Chinese government concessional loan, arrived last year and were distributed in all districts,” he said.

China with an estimated population of 1.3 billion is among Uganda’s leading development partners after the United States of America. Most of the Chinese investments in Uganda involve capital infrastructure investments like the Namboole Stadium and the new president’s office next to Parliament, among others.