Free zones authority signs pact to promote investment, trade

Wednesday December 13 2017

Left to right: TradeMark East Africa country

Left to right: TradeMark East Africa country director Moses Sabiti, chief executive officer Frank Matsaert, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi, Uganda Free Zones Authority executive director Richard Jabo and director operations William Mugerwa during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. The signing took place in Kampala recently. PHOTO BY JONATHAN ADENGO 

By JONATHAN ADENGO

Kampala. The Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to guide the formation of an investment, trade and logistics hub in Jinja District as well as promote collaboration between the two organisations.

The logistics hub in Jinja is expected to boost economic growth, create employment and contribute towards sustainable and inclusive prosperity of the region by promoting the reduction of trade barriers and ensuring improved business competitiveness.

Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony in Kampala recently, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary ministry of Finance, said the Uganda Free Zones Authority was set up to establish, develop, manage, market, maintain, supervise and control Free Zones in Uganda under the Free Zones Act of 2014.

“Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded so far as import duties are concerned as being outside the Customs Territory and include Export Processing Zones or Free Port Zones,” he said.

The executive director of UFZA said: “This partnership is key in aiding us (UFZA) to deliver on our key objective of boosting export-oriented investment and trade. By putting in place the infrastructure and relevant facilities, TMEA will have lifted the biggest impediments to investment and trade.”

TMEA, on the other hand is an aid-for-trade, non-profit, non-governmental organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade, funded by a range of development agencies.

The partnership will be extended to a number of areas such as; development of an online portal to enable UFZA submit electronic information on the licensed free zones developers and operators, supporting the authority’s research agenda and supporting the establishment of Data Management Information System.

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