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Entebbe Free Trade Zone Nears Completion, Promising Significant Economic Benefits :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Entebbe Free Trade Zone Nears Completion, Promising Significant Economic Benefits

The Entebbe facility is designed to promote export-led investment by offering duty exemptions, making Uganda's exports more competitive in international markets.
The Entebbe Airport Free Trade Zone under construction.
The highly anticipated Entebbe Free Trade Zone is progressing well, with the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) reporting that physical works are 66% complete and the budget for the first phase of the project is 80% executed. 

The project, valued at $13.6 million and contracted to NEC Works Ltd, a commercial enterprise of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), is set to transform Uganda’s export landscape.  In an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Friday, UFZA Executive Director Hez Kimoomi Alinda announced that the facility would be ready for business transactions by June 30, 2025. 

Located on five acres provided by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, the facility will feature seven production lines, four of which have already secured investors. These investments are projected to generate up to $37.6 million annually for Uganda.   Kimoomi highlighted the impressive return on equity of 135%, noting that such a return on investment is unparalleled in Uganda. 

He also mentioned plans for another significant project, with eighteen square miles set aside for construction in Kaweweeta, Nakaseke. The Entebbe facility is designed to promote export-led investment by offering duty exemptions, making Uganda's exports more competitive in international markets. 

The government's objectives include increasing production for export, creating jobs, adding local value, improving the balance of trade, and expanding opportunities for Ugandans. Kimoomi emphasized the advantages of the facility's location, which offers easy transportation by air or water on Lake Victoria. SECO (U) Limited, a private investor, is constructing a 10,000-metric-ton vessel to operate between Entebbe, Mwanza (Tanzania), and Kisumu (Kenya), further enhancing the facility's logistical capabilities. 

This "green investment" will reduce transportation costs, alleviate road wear and tear, and lower carbon emissions.   On the same day, Kimoomi briefed the newly appointed Minister of State for Trade, Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, about UFZA’s activities and toured the projects with him. 

Gen. Mbadi expressed his commitment to understanding the agencies under his supervision and highlighted the strategic importance of the facilities for exploiting the East African Community and COMESA markets. 

“We are looking at value addition, quantity and quality, processing and manufacturing removal of non-tariff barriers … And if you have a tax holiday, infrastructure facilities, and Air cargo facilities and you want to do business, why not take advantage of this,” Gen Mbadi mused.

The Free Zones Authority, established under the Free Zones Act of 2014, is tasked with developing and managing free zones to streamline business operations by reducing bureaucratic hurdles and business costs.