Arrangements have been finalised for government to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport to boost export-oriented investment in the country.
The development of Public Free Zone is expected to cost Shs48b. It will house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to facilitate the smooth flow of business.
Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.
Mr Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority executive director, said the project is testimony of government’s commitment towards the creation of an economic environment, which is conducive to private sector investment and growth.
“On completion, the project will support increased production quality assurance and value addition to commodities that are widely produced by the masses to improve household incomes, create employment and eliminate poverty as well as improve the value of Uganda’s exports,” he said,.
Mr Alinda was speaking while handing over the site for the construction of the Entebbe International Airport Free Zone at which he said they had acquired five acres from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority for the development and contracted National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of the UPDF for the construction works.
Eng Dr Frederick Kiwanuka, the Uganda Free Zones Authority chairman, said government was optimistic that the free zone project will heavily contribute to increase in cargo traffic of the airport and it will also create over 200 direct jobs for the citizens.
“This being a pioneer public free zone, its successful execution is being awaited with great enthusiasm by government and private sector,” he said.