Performance of industrial parks above target, says government

Government says there has been improved performance of industrial parks due to provision of investment incentives and easing registration procedures, among others. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

At least 212 have already established operations in different industrial and business parks, which is above 132 annual target under National Development Plan III target of

Land usage in industrial parks exceeded government target for the period ended December 2022, according to the Ministry of Finance 2021/22 annual performance report. 

The report, which was released on Wednesday, indicates that as of December 2022, at least 212 companies were fully operational and utilized allocated industrial park land, an indication of improved investment activities.   

At least, the Ministry Finance indicates, 506 companies have so far been allocated land across regional industrial and business parks, of which 212 companies have already established operations. 

At least 155 of those already in operation, which represents 73.1 percent, are owned locally.  The performance is above the annual National Development Plan III target of 132 companies. 

The Ministry of Finance noted that the above target performance was due to various investment factors, among which included provision of investment incentives, establishment of the one-stop business registration and licencing centres and participation in investment summits including the Dubai Expo and Regional Investment summits.

By December, the report noted, at least 11, of which eight are public and three private, out of 25 industrial parks, were operational. Those which are operational include Kampala Industrial and Business Park-Namanve, Bweyogerere, Luzira, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Kasese, Mbarara SME Park, Tian Tang-Mukono, MMP-Buikwe, LiaoshenKapeeka. 

The parks are situated on part of Uganda Investment Authority’s 5,320 acres of land acquired in different parts of the country to establish regional industrial and specialized business parks. 

The report also notes that during the year, access to export processing zones improved with at least 31 firms accessing the zones, which was above the target of 25 firms and the previous year’s performance of 27 firms. 

Out of the 31 firms, 61 percent were Foreign Direct Investments while 39 percent were domestic investments. 

During the period, Free Export Zones created 9,861 jobs, an increase by 17.5 percent from 8,389 jobs in the 2020/21 financial year, with foreign-owned Free Zones accounting for 72 percent or 7,127 of the created jobs. 

Domestically-owned Free Export Zones on the other hand generated 2,734 jobs, accounting for 28 percent of created jobs, while investment in Free Export Zones rose by 9 percent to $644.7m from $586.2m in 2020/21 financial year, driven by capital expenditures on plant and machinery, equipment, land acquisition, factory buildings and civil works. 

The cumulative capital investment in Free Export Zones now stand at $1.54b, while export earnings have growth to $68m. 

Successes and challenges  

During the year, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, the Ministry of Finance permanent secretary, said government had registered a number of successes as well as challenges, providing an opportunity to reflect, learn and plan better going forward. 

The report, which highlights performance of the private sector development, he said provides details of key achievements and challenges and points out emerging issues in the private sector. 

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