Uganda, TZ seek to strengthen trade, investment relations

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Uganda, TZ seek to strengthen trade, investment relations
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The second edition of the Uganda- Tanzania Business Forum set for May, 23 to 24 in in Dar es Salaam, will see both countries seek to showcase investment opportunities amongst themselves but also strengthen relations.

Speaking during the media launch of the forum, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of regional cooperation, John Mulimba said both countries to enjoy warm, cordial and fraternal bilateral relations since the early 1960s and that these relations have continued to blossom.

Mulimba said the business forum will be yet another opportunity to ensure the relations continue to blossom.

“Holding the forum in a two-in-one format comprising of trade exhibition on one hand and an investment forum on the other will enable both countries to showcase and demonstrate their manufacturing and trade capacity while highlighting their comparative advantage to promote and attract prospective investments in joint projects. The event will also incorporate key investment presentations; interactive dialogue sessions; business to business; government to government and government-to-business meetings,” Mulimba said.

“ By bringing together trade and investment policy makers, key business communities, and trade-support institutions from Uganda and Tanzania, the business forum will provide a perfect platform to network, exchange experiences, and explore win-win investment and trade opportunities that exist between our two countries.”

He explained that the business forum will among others highlight investment opportunities in Uganda, creating awareness about the business climate and investment opportunities in Uganda’s priority sectors.

The business forum according to officials will focus on the extractives sector (oil & gas minerals); commercial agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

“The forum will help create awareness and generate interest among business enterprises in Tanzania to invest in Uganda but also provide a platform to exchange ideas on suitable approaches for knowledge sharing. The forum will also identify potential areas for partnerships and encourage joint ventures between Ugandan and Tanzanian companies but also create awareness of Ugandan products for market access in Tanzania and neighboring countries,” Minister Mulimba said.

Trade

According to Laura Kahuga from the Ugandan High Commission in Dar es Salaam, the trade between the two countries is almost balanced.

She said whereas Uganda’s exports to Tanzania are currently worth $186 million, the country’s imports from Tanzania are at $192 million.

Uganda mainly imports agricultural products including rice, onions, corn and coated flat rolled iron among others.

On the other side, Uganda exports mainly raw sugar and hair products to Tanzania.

Speaking on Thursday, officials said the business forum is yet another opportunity for both countries to increase their exports to each other.

“Uganda is the biggest buyer of Tanzanian rice and the forum will be yet another opportunity to further increase business between the two countries. Uganda also does a lot of business in terms of tourism and hospitality with Tanzania that we hope can further boom. We are working with Tanzania’s Port Authority and Tanzania Railways Corporation to harmonise the rates and efficiency at the cost,” Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of Private Sector Foundation Uganda said.

He said PSFU and the private sector foundation of Uganda are working together to ensure businessmen in both countries benefit from the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

“We need to have business to business as well as business to government interactions during the forum but to also engage governments in removing trade barriers between the two countries.”

Investment

Officials say the business forum will be yet another opportunity for both countries to strengthen investments amongst themselves.

Martin Muhangi, the director of Investment Promotion and Business Development assured Tanzanians of an attractive climate for investors to Uganda.

“Tanzanian investors are considered local investors and are eligible, to among others eligible for a 10-year tax holiday and access to land in gazette industrial parks supplied by infrastructure like roads, electricity and water,” Muhangi said.

He said UIA will use the business forum as an opportunity to market Uganda as the investment destination of choice, noting that they particularly promote specific opportunities for investment in agro-value addition, manufacturing, value addition, tourism, oil and gas as well as science and technology.

 

 

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