Uganda boasts of surplus trade with DRC

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Uganda boasts of surplus trade with DRC
The head of Uganda's mission in Kinshasa, Alhaji Farid Mansoor Kaliisa.

Trade between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo( DRC) has continued to blossom over the years , according to the country’s mission in Kinshasa

Speaking during a four day joint regional economic and commercial diplomacy retreat for heads of Uganda’s foreign missions, at Serena Hotel Kigo, in Wakiso district, Alhaji Farid Mansoor Kaliisa, the head of mission in Kinshasa said Uganda registered the   highest trade surplus with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amounting to $53.07 million (sh208.9 billion) .

“Strategic engagements with DRC, construction of depots at common border posts, harmonized security programs like Operation Shuja have contributed to this boost in trade volumes to DRC,” Kaliisa said.

He cited an example of Operation Shuja, a joint military offensive by the UPDF and the Congolese army targeting ADF terrorist organization which he said has led to return to normalcy in areas which were previously held by the terrorist group.

The head of Uganda’s mission noted that this has made it easy for some of Uganda’s exports to end up in these areas previously controlled by ADF.

He mentioned tiles, cooking oil, maize floor, building materials, sugar, palm oil, rice, wheat flour, clothing, beverages, spirits, coffee, tea, cereals, ceramics, spices and perfumes among others.

Opportunities

The head of Uganda’s mission in Kinshasa said there is potential for increase in Uganda’s exports to DRC because of the proximity between the two countries and lack of infrastructure from the other parts of DRC to the eastern part.

“There is a high demand for Ugandan products which means there is a big market for us. The delinked service and product delivery from the major cities of DRC to the eastern part of the country is yet another opportunity that Uganda can fully exploit to increase its exports,” Amb. Kaliisa said.

Speaking during the retreat, Amb. Elly Kamahungye, the acting director for regional and international economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Uganda’s missions abroad ought to do more economic diplomacy so as to spur investment in the country and also promote exports.

“Uganda’s 38 missions abroad remain the lynchpin in promoting the country’s commercial and economic diplomacy. Attraction of exporters, investors into Uganda are your key outputs. The missions abroad should  ensure they attract foreign direct investments to Uganda,” Kamahungye said.

“You can do this by influencing foreign government policy and regulatory decisions that affect global trade and investment in favour of our country and then bilateral based negotiations. Attend trade and tourism fairs, trade and tourism exhibitions, investment conferences, support visits of Ugandan business persons to your host country.”

 

 

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