UK is committed to expanding trade relations with Uganda

Friday August 14 2015

In his article titled “British Airways exit and drying symptom of worsening inflows” in Daily Monitor of August 6, Mr Karoli Ssemogerere makes a number of interesting points about the business environment in Uganda. But I would like to challenge his assertion that the decision of British Airways to suspend its London-Entebbe route reflects a lack of UK business confidence in the market. The recent entry of two prominent UK multinationals, Prudential and Vodafone, testify to the growing interest from British business. UK companies are also at the forefront of a number of other important sectors in Uganda, including oil. The UK government has classed Uganda’s (and East Africa’s) oil sector as one of the top 20 major projects globally as part of the High Value Opportunity (HVO) programme.
The UK remains the largest cumulative investor in Uganda. Our companies have an international reputation for providing quality goods and services and offering long term value for money. British companies are leaders in the field of corporate responsibility, with the highest standards of probity and professionalism. The UK government’s export credit agency has broadened its range of products to ensure UK companies remain competitive and respond to increasing development and infrastructure needs in countries such as Uganda . The current annual country cover for Uganda is £100m and a number of major projects are currently under consideration.
But we are not resting on our laurels. The British High Commission is working hard with the Ugandan government and business communities in both countries to promote two way trade. We organise regular trade missions and facilitate investment fora to promote business opportunities. The UK is also providing technical support to key ministries and is funding a number of pro-business initiatives such as the provision of credit to local SMEs and, through Trademark East Africa, trade facilitation activities such as customs reform and one-stop border posts. The UK is also a major contributor to EU, World Bank and UN programmes and one of the largest contributors to the WTO Aid for Trade Fund, to which the UK provides £1.5bn per annum.
The UK is firmly committed to expanding its trade relationship with Uganda in the coming years, and we are working closely with our Ugandan partners to achieve this.
British High Commissioner to Uganda,
H.E. Alison Blackburne