Even with the automation of clearing of goods at border posts, delays continue to rank among the major obstacles to Uganda’s trade according to a report from International Trade Centre.
The report dubbed, Uganda: Company Perspectives, shows that almost half of exporters and importers in Uganda face challenges related to non-tariff measures when complying with trade regulations.
The report highlights obstacles that Ugandan exporters and importers face in regard to following procedures at border points.
The findings are detailed in the interviews conducted with about 500 exporters and importers.
The report, according to Amelia Kyambadde, the Trade minister, gives insights on how Uganda can strategise to build a business environment that is more conducive to trade. “It is an important element of the toolbox that supports existing work taking place in Uganda to strengthen enterprise competitiveness,” she said during the report’s presentation in Kampala.
Arancha González, the International Trade Centre executive director, said the report will help Uganda to build a stronger foundation to eliminate unnecessary barriers.
The main obstacles identified include product certification and technical requirements.
The findings also suggest that better export-quality management within Uganda – including laboratories for testing, certification and standards development – would improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ms Ovia Matovu, the chief executive officer of Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association said: “Quality requirements and controls imposed in Uganda and in partner state were good as long as they do not add extra costs and delays.”
The delays, according to the International Trade Centre Export Potential Map, have led to soring of unexplored potential, which is estimated $1.1b (Shs4 trillion).