Museveni calls for balanced trade, urges China to open its market

NAM Summit
Museveni calls for balanced trade, urges China to open its market
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President Museveni has stressed the importance of achieving balanced value-added trade and has called on China to open its market to African products.

The remarks were made during a meeting with Liu Guozhong, the Special Representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Guozhong, who is also a Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Vice Premier of the State Council, was representing Jinping at the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and G-77+ China Summits.

During the sideline meeting at the NAM summit held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Museveni expressed deep appreciation to China for its unwavering support during the anti-colonial struggle and highlighted its crucial role in Africa's economic development since gaining independence.

Museveni emphasized the significance of market access as a mutually beneficial strategy for sustainable support. He stressed that by purchasing each other's goods, nations can foster prosperity and strengthen economic ties for mutual benefit.

"Now what we want is to put emphasis on market access because this is the best way to help one another sustainably. If you support what I produce, you are supporting my prosperity, and when I buy what you produce, I am supporting your prosperity. So, China should open its markets to African products. It is a very easy way to help one another for mutual benefit," he stated.

Museveni acknowledged China's historical support during the anti-colonial struggle and its assistance to freedom-fighting groups in Southern Africa, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

"China started supporting Africa economically even when its own economy was still small. When Zhou Enlai came to East Africa in 1964, that's when they started the Tanzania-Zambia railway. Since then, China has grown economically and has continued to help Africa even more. We are therefore very happy with China, and we don't agree with shallow-minded views," he added.

Guozhong conveyed warm greetings from President Xi Jinping and praised Uganda's remarkable economic and social development under President Museveni's leadership.

He emphasized that China supports Uganda in opposing external interference in its internal affairs and vowed to speak up for Uganda on international platforms to preserve the nation's sovereignty.

Furthermore, Guozhong expressed deep appreciation for Uganda's successful hosting of the NAM summit and commended the warm hospitality extended to the Chinese delegation.

He pledged China's support to Uganda as the current chair of NAM and expressed hope for delivering great benefits to African countries through joint efforts and platforms such as the NAM and G-77+ China summits.

The Special Representative also lauded President Museveni's vision for market access and revealed that China has granted zero tariffs on 98% of taxable items from Uganda, fostering greater trade collaboration.

"We are pleased to see more Ugandan products entering the Chinese market. During my visit here, I have seen many potentials that can be tapped based on Uganda's natural conditions. With our joint efforts, we can further expand our markets. In international trade, China never seeks a trade surplus; we believe in balanced trade, meaning we don't just sell without buying from others," he explained.

Guozhong assured Uganda of China's commitment to supporting its national development, including continued assistance in medical aid, cultural exchanges, youth programs, and educational opportunities for Ugandan students in China.

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