The Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Beijing -China together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with China Africa Industrial Forum organized a Uganda- China Trade and Investment conference.

According to organizers, the meeting held via Webinar sought highlight the investment opportunities and incentives in Uganda with a particular focus on Agro-processing and Agri-business, Health/ Medical equipment (Science Reasearch center for HIV Vaccine) and Energy (New- Energy car Industrial investment) .

It was also intended to create awareness and generate interest among business enterprises in China to invest in Uganda and as well highlight products that Uganda imports from China and what Uganda can export to China.

A number of Chinese enterprises in different sectors attended the event both online and offline where Uganda’s Investments opportunities were introduced as well as Uganda Imports/ Exports to china.

The Event is the first conference in a series of activities to be held this year as the two countries are celebrating 60 years Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uganda and China

Uganda and China enjoy cordial economic relations. In 2019, the relations were upgraded to the level of Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership. The Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, investment and technical cooperation (JCTEIT) is a framework of economic cooperation bilaterally.

Uganda also cooperates with China within the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Under these initiatives, the Chinese government is financing a number of infrastructural projects in Uganda.

During the recently concluded FOCAC that took place in Dakar, Senegal, in November 2021, China announced nine programmes to strengthen China-Africa Cooperation in different sectors and Uganda benefits from all these initiatives as China remains among the top source of FDI to Uganda, reaching 145,763.344 million U.S dollars in 2020/21.

Bilateral trade has been on the increase, but much more needs to be done to export products from Uganda and reduce the trade deficit.

Amb. Elly Kamahunge Kafeero, Ag. Director of the Regional and International Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Uganda, the Chief guest at noted that Uganda enjoys strong ties with the People and the Government of People’s Republic of China and the cooperation is evident in the various sectors including trade, industrial investments, infrastructure development and human capacity building.

He reiterated that China is the leading source country for investments into Uganda. This, he said, is made possible through the various opportunities and incentives that Uganda has to offer in the area of manufacturing, agriculture/agro-processing, mineral development, energy and tourism.

And a number of Chinese companies are already involved in investments in different Sectors of Uganda. He called upon Chinese companies to take advantage of the already existing relationship between the two counties and explore tremendous investment opportunities and incentives in Uganda.

Uganda’s Deputy Head of Mission Ambassador Mugisha W. Fred emphasized the good relationship between the two countries and that the purpose of this meeting was to connect different Chinese companies with relevant government departments and private enterprise authorities in Uganda in order to exchange information and understand the investment environment.

He noted that at present, China’s foreign direct investment in Uganda ranks in the forefront. Because Uganda is rich in natural resources, politically stable, and property security, good investment policies, and domestic and regional markets, friendly and enthusiastic people, good transportation and communication.

Cheng Zhigang, Secretary General of the China Africa industrial cooperation and development forum, noted that China and Uganda relations entered a fast lane of development, and fruitful cooperation has been achieved in bilateral and multilateral fields.

“The China Africa industrial cooperation and development forum is willing to take the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to jointly promote China- Uganda friendly and cooperative relations to a new level,” he said.

“The one belt, one road initiative has one belt, one road to Uganda, which is benefiting from the construction of “one belt and one road”. The related projects connect Uganda’s inland hinterland country with the outside world,” he added.

Wang Chenxu, First Secretary of Chinese Embassy in Uganda, noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between China and Uganda.

“Over the past 60 years, China- Uganda’s economic and trade relations have made significant progress. From January to August 2021, the bilateral trade volume increased by 26.2% year-on-year. As Uganda’s largest source of investment, China has helped Uganda overcome the economic challenges affected by the epidemic and achieve recovery and growth,” said Wang.

In the field of trade, he said, China will open up a “green channel” for the export of African agricultural products to China, speed up the inspection and quarantine procedures, further expand the range of products enjoying zero tariff treatment in the underdeveloped countries with diplomatic relations with China, and strive to achieve a total import volume of 300 billion US dollars from Africa in the next three years.

Wang further informed of China’s provision $10 billion in trade financing to support African exports. China will encourage the establishment of a China Africa private investment promotion platform to provide consultation, project cooperation, park development and operation, risk prevention and control, logistics and supply chain services for Chinese private investors in Africa.

“Make full use of platforms such as China International Investment and trade fair to better display the African market and promote Chinese enterprises’ investment in Africa. China will support enterprises to implement railway, highway, port, airport, power and other projects in Africa to improve the infrastructure of the African continent,” he added.

Other guests who made presentations included Martin Muhanji, Deputy Director Investment Promotion UIA, Stephen Asiimwe CEO, Private Sector Foundation Uganda and Brenda Opus, Senior Export Marketing Executive, UEPB who highlighted Uganda’s investment Opportunities, incentives and policies in the different Sectors and products that Uganda imports/ exports to China.

Wang Chenxu, First Secretary of Chinese Embassy in Kampala making remarks at the conference

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.

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