Uganda seeking to grow exports to UAE

Wednesday November 13 2019

Promote. Among the exports that Uganda will be

Promote. Among the exports that Uganda will be seeking to promote during the expo is fish. FILE PHOTO  

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Favourable market requirements and shorter route to the market has continued to position the Middle East as Uganda’s leading source of export receipt.
According to the Bank of Uganda report published early this month, from January up to September, Middle East surpassed Uganda’s traditional export markets such as European Union (EU) and Comesa.
The report shows that Uganda earned export receipt worth $3.0b (Shs11.4 trillion) with at least $751.8m (Shs3.5 trillion) coming from the Middle East.

Mr Elly Twineyo Kamugisha, the Uganda Export Promotion Board Executive Director, said the exports had grown because the United Arab Emirates was becoming an emerging market destination with favourable requirements.

This, he said, has been favoured by the time and distance that exporters take to reach the market given that majority of Uganda’s exports are perishable in nature.

“Because of this the five-hour flight to UAE makes business sense for an exporter to access the market destination,” he said.

Uganda has been seeking different avenues through which it can increase its exports, especially for new markets such as UAE.

Government through UEPB is in preparations to showcase Uganda as a source of exports and tourism destination.


This will be during the forth-coming October 2020 Expo in Dubai where Uganda will be among the 190 participating countries.

Ms Brenda Opus, the UEPB senior export marketing executive said the expo will be a gathering of nations that will be dedicated to finding solutions to pressing challenges key among them of trade and development.”

According to Ms Opus, UAE imports mainly fish, minerals, especially gold and various agricultural exports all of which Uganda can supply.

Government is also seeking to sell Uganda as a tourism destination to UAE from where it receives 14,000 visitors every year.

“This will also be a platform to exhibit and link the Uganda business community to the international community,” Ms Opus said.