Friday July 4 2014

Uganda needs more vehicle importing firms - govt official

Uganda needs more vehicle importing firms - govt official

A car bond in Kampala. Trade ministry permanent secretary has called for more vehicle importing firms, saying the competition will lead to better services. FILE Photo  



Investment opportunities in import and clearing industry are yet to be fully exploited, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Trade has said.
Mr Julius Onen, while speaking about the entry of a new car importing and clearing company - Lagoon Holdings on Wednesday, said it is good news for both the consumers and the import and clearing industry. He said this is because it will heighten competition which could result into reduction of prices and better services.

According to him, the economy is still wide open for massive investments in the import and clearing industry irrespective of the claim that the industry is saturated already with foreign car importers.
“We welcome the new company (Lagoon Holdings whose brand name is CarPassport) because there is no such thing as saturation in this industry. This is a free market and we are not about to start regulating investment in this area,” Mr Onen said.

But according to Mr Christopher Kayemba, the managing director of CK Motors, the business environment has been affected by untimely implementation of Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards Programme, a government policy that compels all vehicles into mandatory inspection before being shipped into the country.
This, he said, has further been complicated by the volatile exchange rate which makes business expensive.
Kampala City Traders Association spokesperson Isa Ssekitto, said in an interview on Wednesday that the vehicle importing industry is already flooded with many, particularly the local players.

Mr Charles Mata, the managing director Lagoon Holdings, said: “Importers want a professional, low-cost and fast service - and that’s exactly what we are offering.”