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Thursday, October 19, 2017 

Ugandan investors told to apply for Free zones licenses

KAMPALA-UGANDA--Uganda Free Zones Authority Executive Director Richard Jabo has urged Ugandans in the private sector to explore the business opportunities being created under the Free Zones being set up across the country.

 Jabo asked local investors to apply for developer’s licenses such that they can set up industries in the zones where they can produce goods for export.

 “Ugandan investors should wake up and take the opportunities available in the gazetted business free zones across the country. “These zones have incentives attached to them that can support our local investors to expand their businesses which can help in solving the problem of unemployment,” said Jabo during a Business Forum in Kampala.

The Business Forum intended to educate the Private sector on the opportunities available in free zones  for the Manufacturing sector , Textiles  and Garments , pharmaceuticals  and Medical devices alongside  Cosmetic.

Jabo observed that Uganda is strategically located which gives it economic advantages compared to other Countries when it comes to trade.

 “There’s high demand for manufactured Goods, Textile and garments among our neighbors but such opportunities have not been taken over by our local private sector yet the government has put in infrastructures and policies to support the local private sector to participate in both local regional and International markets,” said Jabo.

While delivering the key Note Address, Dr. Peter Ngategize, the Head of Private Sector Unit in the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development said Uganda’s export performance is still not at its best. Uganda’s exports grew by 20.7% year on year while the cost of imports increased by 6.2%.

Quoting  statistics from Bank of Uganda  Ngategize noted that the country’s  Exports increased to $288.19 million, on the back of higher earnings from coffee – which rose 118.2% year on year – and informal cross-border trade export earnings, which increased by 43.3% to $47m.

“The trade flows mean Uganda’s trade deficit in March 2017 was $85.1m, a year on year decline of 24.6%. This marked deficit is bound to be closed by a number of interventions including the Free Zones scheme,” he said.

By SAMUEL NABWIISO, Thursday, October 19th, 2017