President Museveni has rallied investors to risk their money in Uganda, saying the East African country guarantees access to a wider market of 1.4 billion people.
Museveni cited Uganda’s proximity to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and larger African market of 1.4bn people; access to tariff and quota free American, European and Chinese markets for key goods.
Other benefits include improved ICT, energy, transport and other infrastructure.
Museveni spoke Saturday night in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Uganda is participating in the 2020 Dubai trade Expo.
On arrival at Abudhabi International Airport, President Museveni was received by Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al-Nahyan the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE.
Expo 2020 is a World Expo currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, originally scheduled for October 2020.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Expo was rescheduled for October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) officials are issuing investment certificates to prospective investors in one hour.
At the Expo, UIA top chiefs said they met with representatives of Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, a Chinese company engaged in the manufacture and sale of biochemical reagents, medical products and diagnostic test kits
The investors will tomorrow, October 4, sign deals with the Ugandan government in the presence of president Museveni.
“UIA plans to sign investment deals worth USD 4bn over the 6 months that Expo 2020 Dubai will run,” said UIA boss, Robert Mukiza.
Uganda says its participation in the expo will promote trade with the greater Middle East market which had a total import bill of US$ 1.889 billion in 2020, initially targeting United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia; Turkey; Qatar and Oman.
The priority products for promotion during the Expo are coffee, black tea, cocoa, fish and fish products (Nile perch and tilapia), fruits (avocado, bananas, mangoes and pineapples); vegetables and spices including hot pepper (capsicums), ginger and cardamom.
Other products are kidney beans, mung beans and sesame; dairy products, especially milk powder; processed food products particularly dried fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya, and jackfruit).
There is untapped market potential with product such as coffee whose current market size is US$ 1.1billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 11million; tea with a market size of US$ 1.2billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 220,000; milk powder with a market size of 2.85 billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 374,000.
The Middle East Market is huge, and Uganda stands to gain significantly by effectively promoting the above products during and after the Expo, using Dubai as the distribution hub into the greater Middle East.
Uganda has since profiled all its products, together with their major exporters, capacity and contact details for dissemination during the Expo.
Uganda also plans to attract investments into the profiled investment projects which include 14 infrastructure projects – including the Rapid Bus Project, Rehabilitation of the Gulu – Pakwach railway and development to Inland ports;
Five mining sector projects – including the Bahati Wolfram project and the Iron and steel processing project; 5 health sector projects – including medical equipment manufacturing and management center and a specialized hospital; and 21 agriculture and agro-processing projects – including establishment of aqua parks, establishment of an instant soluble coffee plant and a modern cattle abattoir require investors.
Uganda is also marketing fivereal estate projects – including Construction of Low Cost and Medium Cost Housing Kireka Slum Rejuvenation Project and The Dairy House; 12 tourism sector projects – including the Cable Car Project and Source of the Nile Development Project; three energy sector projects – including Geothermal Exploration and Development at Buranga Prospect and Kyenjogyera Mini Hydro Power Generation Project; five IT and IT Enabled services project; and five oil and gas projects – including Uganda Oil Refinery and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project; two industrialization projects – including the Sino-Uganda Modern Economic Development Special Zone.
For tourism (“Destination Uganda”) which has won international recognition as a premium tourist destination, Uganda is promoting gorilla tracking; bird watching; mountain hiking especially the Rwenzori Mountains, home-stay and; meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).
With the support of the Government of UAE, Uganda was offered a 213 sq. meter 2-floor Pavilion in the Opportunity Thematic District. This is in line with Expo management’s “One Country, One Pavilion” policy. The Pavilion has the country exhibition on the ground floor; office and conference facilities on the upper floor.