What you need to know:
In 2014, Uganda imported goods worth Shs1.2 trillion against Shs102b exports.
KAMPALA. Uganda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are devising means of addressing the trade imbalance that exists between the two countries.
While announcing the UAE-Uganda trade and investment conference in Kampala last week, State minister for Privatisation Aston Kajara said: “The conference would address the trade imbalance between Uganda and UAE.”
A delegation of 35 businesspeople from the UAE is currently in the country on a campaign to increase UAE’s investments in Uganda.
Mr Kajara said Uganda imported goods worth $370 million (Shs1.2 trillion) from the UAE, while the UAE imported $30 million (Shs102 billion) in 2014.
He also said government would interest the investors to invest in Uganda’s free trade zones. “As you are already aware, Uganda enacted a Free Zones Law and Authority so we will encourage them to occupy the free zones and produce for export,” he said.
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) executive director Frank Sebbowa expressed optimism that UAE will continue to invest in Uganda owing to the increasing interest and trends of investment from the UAE.
He said in the last 10 years, UIA had licenced 21 companies from UAE worth $75 million (Shs55 billion) in planned investment that included some joint ventures and excluded the aviation investments.
“Although it seemed that most of the companies in the delegation were interested in trade, it is okay because trade precedes investment in production after the market has been tested and found viable,” Dr Sebbowa said.
Mr Walid Hareb Al Falahi, the chief executive officer Dubai Consultancy, lauded the efforts to increase and enhance business and bilateral relations between the two countries.