President Museveni yesterday made a case for Uganda as a favourable and profitable investment destination, rallying investors to set up business across different sectors of the economy.
The President was speaking at the Uganda-Turkey Investment, Trade, Industry and Tourism Summit, that attracted more than 300 Turkish investors in Entebbe yesterday.
“People do not come to do work for charity as far as business is concerned, they come to do business which can make profit. And I can assure you that you can make profits if you invest here,” he said.
READ: Trade between Uganda, Turkey grows by $8m
Mr Museveni based his pitch on factors such as the availability of raw materials in minerals and agriculture, a wide and ready market as well as a well developed infrastructure network.
“The market of Uganda is 43 million, the market of East Africa is now 300 million because Congo has joined, then the market of Africa. But we have also negotiated with the USA for access to their market, so we have that deal to supply 6,000 products quota free, tariff free. If you produce, here you can export to the US tax-free,” he said.
“To produce goods and services here, it is very easy because of the raw materials which are abundant. On the side of minerals, we need a factory for steel we have very good iron ore, phosphates, gold, copper, cobalt, lithium battery all those high value minerals we have them here,” the President added.
Mr Museveni argued that it is through investments that the irony of a richly endowed, yet underdeveloped Africa can be done away with.
“Anybody who wants to do value addition for crops is welcome. The goods to be produced here must be especially industrial ones because we do not invite you to do agriculture that we are already doing. We can grow crops of the tropics but also of the temperate. So one cluster of business is agro-processing,” he said
The President, however, issued a warning to unscrupulous Ugandan business people who manipulate unsuspecting investors.
“Ugandans, you must be honest, not mafias because I know mafias are there and will want to take advantage of these investors and soil our reputation. Do not lie, do not fleece these investors,” he said.
The summit was held under the theme “Accelerating Investment, Trade, Industry and Tourism between Uganda and Turkey in the Post Covid-19 era”
The summit focused on priority sectors -- agriculture, industries, services, and ICT, tourism as well as promotion of Uganda’s access to Turkey.
The Minister in-charge of Privatisation and Investment, Ms Evelyn Anita, said the trade volumes between the two countries had grown from 63 million in 2020 to 71 million in 2021.