Government has kick-started the construction of the first public free zone in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport to boost trade.
The works on the free zone, which is adjacent to the cargo terminal, were officially launched by the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija.
The Shs 47 billion investment is fully funded by the government of Uganda and complements other national projects such as; the Entebbe Express Highway, Uganda Airlines and the on-going expansion of the Entebbe International Airport.
Opon completion, the Free Zone will house seven (7) production units and a trade house that will host offices of UFZA, URA and other Government offices to facilitate smooth flow of business in the Zone.
The facility will have firms engaged in high value mineral processing activities, light manufacturing and agro-processing for export through Entebbe International Airport.
This will generate an additional $13.4 million in capital investment,create over 200 direct jobs,realise export earnings of over US$4.02 million per annum increasing the volumes of goods exported through the Entebbe International Airport.
It will also generate Shs 108.3 billion in direct revenues within 15-years of operation.
According to the officials,the proposed sectors for the project include; food processing (agro-processing), mineral processing, warehousing, storage, simple assembly among others.
All operators in this Public Free Zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.
Last year, UFZA handed over the site of five (5) acres of land to National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), to embark on the initial phase of construction of the Free Zone in Uganda.
Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded so far as import duties are concerned as being outside the Customs territory.
The Free Zones are schemes set up by government to boost export-oriented investment.