Comesa and the Middle East have become the leading export markets for Ugandan goods, according to the Bank of Uganda report for the year ended December 2019.
The two markets, and others in Europe, East Africa and the Americas, saw a 10.1 increase in Uganda’s exports for the period under review.
According to the report, published on Wednesday, for the period between January and December 2019, Uganda earned Shs15 trillion worth of exports up from Shs13.4 trillion.
Comesa, (Common Market for East and Southern Africa) and the Middle East each fetched earnings of $1.2b (Shs4.5 trillion) during the period.
The increasing exports to the Middle East, according to some experts, has mainly been attributed to the growing gold exports, specifically to United Arab Emirates.
The country, according to the report, also received a good share of Uganda’s coffee, fruits and vegetable exports in the period.
In an earlier interview, Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde told Daily Monitor, the Middle East had increasingly become an important market amid challenges in the traditional markets such as European Union.
The report indicates that Uganda’s exports receipts from Comesa mainly came from Kenya, South Sudan and DR Congo.
Exports to Kenya earned Uganda $442m (Shs1.6 trillion). However, this was lower compared to $580m (Shs2.1 trillion) recorded the same period in 2018. South Sudan recorded revenue worth $351m (Shs1.2 trillion), lower than the $355m (Shs1.3 trillion) that was registered in the same period in 2018.
Exports to DR Congo grew to $247m (Shs913b) compared to $204m (Shs754b) earned in 2018.
Europe, which was once Uganda’s leading export market, fetched earnings worth $496m (Shs1.8 trillion) falling to third position after Comesa and Middle East.
Exports to Europe mostly went to Turkey and Switzerland with the two counties earning Uganda $126m (Shs466b) and $34m (Shs435b), respectively. Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany continued to be big recipients of Uganda’s exports in the period.