Utilise EA integration to grow local businesses - Kiwanuka

Ms Maria Kiwanuka, the Finance minister. She said Ugandans should look to expand their businesses beyond Uganda. FILE PHOTO

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Ugandan companies told to emulate Kenyan and Tanzanian firms


Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has told local companies to utilise the opportunities accruing from the East African integration to expand their businesses in the region like Tanzanian and Kenyan companies are doing.
Ms Kiwanuka said although the integration is real, many Ugandan companies are limiting their horizons to only Ugandan borders thus missing out on business expansion advantages of selling to a wider audience which results into more business profitability, attracting of professionals and sustainability.

Emulating neighbours
“Emulate other companies (Kenyans and Tanzanian) and do not limit yourselves to Ugandan borders. The East African integration is real get on board,” Ms Kiwanuka said.
The minister made the remarks while officiating at the launch of a Tanzanian insurance company, African Risk Insurance Services (ARIS) that joined other 22 insurance players currently in the market serving less than 1 per cent insurance penetration.
She was however, optimistic of industry growth and assured ARIS of government support.

“The insurance industry is growing quickly and you have entered the industry at the right time when there are opportunities opening up in the oil and gas sector. To us, your investment is a milestone in the short term and long term business financing,” she said.

Hajji Kaddunabbbi Lubega, the Chief Executive officer of Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda cautioned the new entrant on defaulting on clients’ claims that characterized industry players in the past and urged them to position themselves well to handle emerging challenges in mineral and energy sectors that the company is eying to invest in.
ARIS will provide its services through a merger with already existing Balaji insurance Limited in Uganda.

Mr Varun Punjabi, the managing director of ARIS said the company will prioritise investing in the lucrative oil and gas. He also said the company has done well in Tanzania where it made an annual turnover of Shs120 billion.