Uganda, EU hope to use forthcoming business forum to catapult their trade volumes

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Uganda, EU hope to use forthcoming business forum to catapult their trade volumes
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The European Union Ambassador to Uganda, Jan Sadek has said the Uganda-European Union is a rare opportunity for EU and Uganda to further enhance the trade volumes among themselves.

“There is a lot that Uganda can gain from the Global Gateway, which is the EU’s investment strategy aimed at leveraging investments for large scale initiatives in sectors that are key for sustainable and inclusive growth in partner countries,” said Sadek.

“Through the Global Gateway, the EU is able to pool resources from our member states and European financial institutions to narrow investment gaps while promoting competitiveness and security of supply chains.”

He was speaking during the launch of the third Uganda-EU business forum at Onomo Hotel in Kampala.

The business forum will be held between March 5 and 7, 2024 at the Speke Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo.

Trade volumes

According to Ambassador Sadek, the trade volumes between the EU and Uganda are impressive with about EUR 700 million being European export to Uganda and about EUR 800 million being Ugandan exports to Europe.

“These figures standout in comparison with Uganda’s other important trade partners as they show a balanced trade. Therefore, we want to use the business forum to demonstrate that we can do a lot together to improve economic relationship between the European Union and Uganda and to stimulate private sector engagement and investment,” Ambassador Sadek said.

“During the forum, we will be able to engage in policy discussions to hear directly from the political leadership of this country about the opportunities that Europe and Uganda provide which is important for businessmen and women coming from Europe to hear directly from government.”

He said the business forum will attract over 1000 participants both physical and virtual, noting that the two previous business forum have gained many tangible results.

The state minister for Investment and Privatization, Evelyn Anite said the business forum is yet another opportunity for the country to attract more investments, especially from Europe.

“Government of Uganda fully supports the 3rd Uganda-EU Business Forum and we thank the EU for choosing Uganda as a preferred investment destination. This is an excellent opportunity for Ugandans to seize,” Anite said.

She revealed that President Museveni will be the chief guest.

The chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Humphrey Nzeyi said this business forum is yet another opportunity for Ugandan businesses to do partnerships with their counterparts from Europe.

“The EU market offers great opportunities for Ugandan entrepreneurs. Uganda has lots of trade advantages with Europe and we need to build and capitalise, focusing on value addition and standards for quality exports. The Ugandan private sector is keen on doing business with our European counterparts and this Forum presents a priceless opportunity for us to expand our markets, promote Ugandan services and products and attract investment in the country,” Nzeyi said.

Morrison Rwakakamba, the Uganda Investment Authority chairperson underscored the role of forum to spur investment in the country.

“The Uganda Investment Authority will showcase bankable projects at the 3rd Uganda-European Union Business Forum. We will continue to illuminate investment opportunities that we can present to EU investors. We see lucrative investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals, edible oils, electronics and agro-equipment. We strongly believe that the forum will pave a way for a more remarkable coalition among Ugandan public and private sector trade and investment support institutions to work together in making investments happen in Uganda,” Rwakakamba said.

Relations

The Head of International Economic Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Santa Kinyera said the business forum will be yet another opportunity to promote commercial diplomacy between Uganda and the European Union.

The business forum

The forum will comprise public and private sector-led presentations and panel discussions as well as  an exhibition which will be a dedicated pavilion to allow Ugandan and European companies, as well as partners, to showcase their products and services.

The forum will also have a deals room which will be a dedicated space to allow enterprises to pitch their bankable projects to a curated list of potential investors; and a business to business as well as business to government matchmaking platform which will have meetings between European investors and local entrepreneurs, and between potential investors and relevant public agencies.

The theme of this year’s Forum is “Boosting Trade and Investments”, and sub-theme “What can Uganda gain from Global Gateway?”

 

 

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