Uganda’s minister of trade industries and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde has urged investors from the Nordic countries explore the various opportunities the country has to offer.
“Uganda is centrally located at the heart of the great Lakes region, making it an economic hub which provides an opportunity for investors from the Nordic Countries to access wider market for their products Uganda has wide investing opportunity to international investors to exploit ” Kyambadde said while officiating at the 1st Nordic Uganda Business Forum that was held in Kampala.
She told participants that Uganda have conducive nature and vast natural resources such as fertile soils which has supported the increased production in the Agricultural sector and other sectors like fisheries and minerals but the challenge is that the country is exporting much of those resources inform of raw materials thus the need for investors to come and invest in the value addition chain which she said it will not help the country to earn more from such sectors but also create employment opportunities for the average Uganda’s.
However she cautioned those interested in investing in the country’s various sectors to make sure that they produce quality Goods and services that is when they will penetrate the region markets of about 600million people.
“With the improved access to information through enhanced ICT infrastructure and vibrant media , the public has become more aware of the quality of goods and services they expect from both local and international market . To be competitive, there for commitment to quality and standards is paramount “she warned them.
The minister applauded Sweden member state of Nordic Countries for supporting Uganda’s Education sector through offering 75 scholarships to Ugandan Students to study in Sweden. Nordic, countries comprises countries like Norway Denmark Sweden.
Other Nordic members states like Denmark has been instrumental in supporting Uganda in many ways Denmark through DANIDA has supported the Government in building g private sector Uganda is member of various Economic blocks such as COMESA , Great Lakes Region the EAC and the tripartite COMESA EAC and SADC all those Economic blocks, creates market for Ugandan produced markets but to access such wide markets both Goods and services should meet the international standards in order to compete with other manufacture goods and service from members states.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Thorbjorn Gaustadsether said the Nordic Countries especially Norway is willing to forge trade Relationship with Uganda and the entire East African Community block.
“There has been no trade relationship between Uganda and Norway but we have realized that there’s need to trade especially in the Flowers, Aquaculture and the entire Agricultural sector Uganda has comparative aantage in supplying foods related items on the Norwegian market to see that such business potential is achieved the Norwegian Government will sign joint venture with Uganda in the areas to Aquaculture and fisheries to drive the business relationship” he promised.
When asked how the Norwegian Government is going to help Uganda towards the development of vital sectors like Energy. The Ambassador said Norwegian investors will be coming to invest in the country’s power sector by supporting the development of the Medium power plants which he said it will close the gaps in the energy sector in the country.
The Danish Ambassador to Uganda H.E Dan Frederiksen , asked the Business Community of Uganda to utilize the Danish Business platform such as the Danida Business Finance ,The investment Fund for the development countries and the trade council which he said if are well exploited buy the Ugandan Business Community it can spurs the development of their Enterprises. which are struggling to get loans from Commercial banks.
However the chairman of the Swedish -Uganda Business Association Erostus Nsubuga aised Government to fist invest more in the Energy production and also fight corruption in Government departments before they start inviting international investor to come and invest in the heavy machinery plants, he said the local investors are struggling with the limited power supply from Government this has increased the cost of doing business in the country and the level of corruption has compelled willing investors to go away .
“The Environment of doing business in Uganda is still challenging many investors are losing hope because of the time one have to spend before the trading Licences are granted this has forced many of them to start offering kickbacks to Government officers to enable them secure the Business Legal Documents from Government Agencies this has forced many investors to go to neighboring
Source : East African Business Week