Tuesday November 14 2017

Ugandan businesses advised to form strategic partnership with UK companies

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

KAMPALA

The United Kingdom is in a new campaign to increase its investment presence in Uganda through calling on Ugandan companies to form strategic partnerships with the British companies.
Partnership provides a scope for association with diverse skills and expertise. Partners having expertise and skills in different functional areas of business can manage the business efficiently.

Speaking in a high level meeting between UK Cabinet Ministers, government officials, Bank of Uganda, finance and manufacturing companies at Kampala Serena Hotel last Friday evening to discuss Uganda’s Financial Services Sector and Capital Markets Mr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade and UK Business Associates said there is need to for UK companies to form long term strategic relationship with companies in Uganda create wider trade opportunities between the two countries.

“We are interested in number of things in Africa, which can we do through capital investment, UK Trade finance; we want to see more UK companies in Uganda and Africa providing trade finance,” he said.

Mr Fox said in the UK they have capital investment finance, UK Trade finance, which companies in Uganda can tap into it.

The UK Trade and Investment is a government organization which offers free assistance to overseas business. They have well knowledge and global network of business facilitators and staff in embassies.

They provide business information, detail of UK environment, access to UK business networks this help the foreign investors to make informed decision.

Mr Fox said there are 22 UK experts in the world providing direct market information contact.

He explained that promotion of goods and service export finance is important because it can lead economic prosperity and development. He said it up to Uganda or Ugandan companies to identify the areas that they need to have partnership with UK.

“We might look forward for infrastructure projects that we might support so that economic prosperity can be created in Uganda,” he said.

Uganda is constructing an airport in Kabale Hoima, Mr Fox said the Kabale project is a promising one and it the UK government has provided £200 million (about Shs963.184 billion) for its construction. “This is the largest direct lend UK has ever lent to African government,” he said.

In a brief interview with Daily Monitor, Head-Growth and Economic Management at Department for International Development, Mr Adrian Green said Ugandan companies should move fast in forming partnership and signing agreements with UK companies like it has been done in other African countries such as South Africa, Kenya.

Mr Adrian said: “Nairobi Securities Exchange and the Johannesburg stock exchange have all signed an agreement with London stock aimed at making investment opportunities available to companies UK and in these African countries.”

The chairperson of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) Ms Gertrude Wamala Karugaba said people in Uganda still lack access to long term financial services. “However, with the help of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda, we have helped 0.5 million people in Uganda to have access to financial services,” she said.

Ms Karugaba said more than 2,000 women are among those who have got access to financial services.
At the continent level, Ms Karugaba said in 2015, FSD Africa provided a £5m first loss facility to catalyse the launch of the £120m Frontier Clearing Fund to energise interbank lending markets in developing countries, and boost bank lending to the real economy;
Despite the above development, Ms Karugaba expressed dismay that while the level of poverty has declined from 40 per cent to 20 per cent globally, 40 per cent of the people in the sub Saharan Africa still live in poverty.

The executive director of Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU), Ms Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa said DFID has agreed to extend its financial support to FSDU from 2019 to 2021meanwhile at the same time FSDU is also sourcing funds from other international organizations to give financial support to FSDU continue with its role of getting more people in Uganda get included in the financial system.

moketch@ug.nationmedia.com

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