Govt unveils plans to support exporters

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Govt unveils plans to support exporters
Permanent Secretary Ramathan Ggoobi speaking

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, has outlined strategies on how the government intends to support producers and service providers who engage in exporting.

Mr Ggoobi made these statements during a post-budget dialogue for the Financial Year 2024/25 in Kampala on Wednesday.

The dialogue was organised by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) in collaboration with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) and other partners in Kampala.

Mr Ggoobi, who is also the and Secretary to the Treasury, affirmed that the government will foster export growth and development in the upcoming financial year by creating a favorable environment for producers and manufacturers to access foreign markets.

He encouraged citizens to embrace exporting and assured them of government support.

"Exports are key drivers of economic growth and prosperity, and the government is fully committed to assisting those with the capacity to produce and export," said Ggoobi.

He said economies thrive when they engage in exports and reiterated the government's dedication to supporting those capable of producing and exporting goods and services.

According to Ggoobi, when households produce goods for the market and export a portion of their products, it creates job opportunities, generates significant revenue for the government, and contributes to the country's gross domestic product growth.

Ggoobi also noted that the budget for the Financial Year 2024/25 has been designed to cater to various social groups, including the youth, women, and the elderly.

He highlighted the numerous opportunities available for women entrepreneurs, not only in terms of resources but also in terms of development services.

He further stated that the budget for the upcoming financial year presents increased opportunities for the participation of all Ugandans in the economy.

Ggoobi outlined the budget priorities, which include investing in the people of Uganda through initiatives in healthcare, education, and water.

He also said wealth creation programmes such as the Presidential Development Initiatives, Emyooga, among others, as well as efforts to reduce electricity costs and improve road infrastructure.

Addressing concerns about debt, Ggoobi assured that Uganda has implemented measures to manage debt effectively, thereby avoiding unsustainable levels (fiscal consolidation agenda).

Ggoobi also launched the Citizen's Feedback platform, developed by the Office of the Attorney General, aimed at bridging the gap between citizens and the government.

Dr Arthur Bainomugisha, executive director of ACODE, praised Uganda's economic resilience and growth in a recent address.

He highlighted that Uganda's economy grew by 6 percent in the last financial year, outperforming other East African countries, except for Rwanda, which achieved 8 percent growth.

"Uganda has exhibited remarkable economic resilience," said Dr. Bainomugisha. "We have grown at a rate of 6 percent, surpassing Kenya's 5.6 percent and Tanzania's 5.4percent."

He commended the Ministry of Finance, civil society, and the Bank of Uganda for their efforts in sustaining and advancing the economy despite global challenges.

"I would like to congratulate our Minister of Finance, the Permanent Secretary, and their teams, as well as civil society and the Bank of Uganda, for keeping our economy afloat and continuously growing," he said.

The current budget for the Financial Year 2024/25 stands at 72.1 trillion Ugandan shillings, which Dr. Bainomugisha highlighted as one of the largest in the region, surpassing Tanzania's budget. However, he emphasized the need to address various challenges in order to improve service delivery and living standards.

"While having a substantial budget is commendable, we must work collaboratively to tackle challenges such as climate change, which can undermine our economic progress," he said.

"Adapting to and mitigating climate change are crucial for sustaining our development."

Dr Bainomugisha also stressed the importance of prudently managing national debt, considering its potential impact on the economy.

"Debt servicing is a major concern. We must exercise caution in how we contract and manage our debt to avoid any disruptions to our economy," he cautioned.

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