China ranked 2018 top foreign investor in Uganda

What you need to know:

Investment areas. Chinese investments are mostly in road infrastructure and manufacturing.

China has been rated top Foreign Direct Investor under the Uganda Investment Authority’s investor ranking of foreign direct investments in the 2018/19 financial year.
Presenting the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) performance report for 2018 /19 at the Media Centre yesterday, the acting director general, Mr Lawrence Byensi, said China became the top foreign investor in Uganda in 2018 with a total investment worth of $607m (about Shs2.2 trillion).
“Things have changed, you see that China, which never used to be mentioned among top investors in Uganda 10 years ago, is now number one foreign investor in Uganda because the Chinese have increased their interest in investing in Uganda and their government is supporting them to invest in various African countries,” he said.
Mr Byensi also said China was on top because of the cheap local labour force compared to cost of labour back home.
He said the Chinese investments are mostly in road infrastructure and manufacturing.
Mr Byensi said Lebanon came second to China with total investment of $70m, followed by India with investment worth $58m and United Arab Emirates ($55m) in 2018.
“In terms of value of investments in Uganda in 2018/19 was $1.3 billion (about Shs4.7 trillion), with domestic investment standing at $328m and foreign at $1 billion,” he added.
Giving a breakdown of sectors that attracted the highest investment in the licensed projects during the 2018/19 period, Mr Byensi cited manufacturing with 148 projects, agriculture with 51 projects, transport, storage and communications construction with 17.
He said during the same period, total employment stood at 59,940 jobs of which 14,737 were provided by local projects and 45,203 (75.4 per cent) provided by the foreign-owned projects.
“During the period in our one stop centre we started doing online registration of business, you can also get a trading licence online and property registration online. With this development we believe, we should be able to compete favourably in the Doing Business report,” he said.
He said UIA hopes to register 300 projects by end of the year and hope to have more foreign investors next year because there has been increased inquiry about the available business opportunities in Uganda.