Ruth Biyinzika Musoke, a manager at the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) said while other countries required investors to have local people own stakes in their companies, say 50%. This, she pitched, is not the case with Uganda
Businesses ability to operate outside strict regulation has been
pitched as a key advantage that Middle East investors should look out for in
This was at the Uganda-United Arab Emirates investment forum at Kampala
Sheraton on Thursday.
Ruth Biyinzika Musoke, a manager at the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda
(PSFU) said while other countries required investors to have local people own
stakes in their companies, say 50%, this is not the case with Uganda.
An investor can decide to have locals as partners or not.
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Investors love less strict environments. However other things like reliable
electricity, predictable political climate, and certain taxation region plays a
key role in attracting investors, according to the World Bank. Uganda is trying
to generate as much electricity although tariff remains high.
Another advantage with Uganda is that an investor can bring in money and
take it out as and when they want. The Kampala forum is expected to link
visiting Middle East companies with local players for possible synergies.
Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, the chairman of the UAE’s Sharjah chamber of
commerce, said they wanted to learn from Uganda and what opportunities it
At Sheraton, several companies from steel makers to insurance to glass
manufacturers pitched camp to interact with Uganda’s companies. Oil and
gas, tourism, and agriculture featured prominently on Uganda’s pitch.
Alex Onziima, the state minister in the office of the vice president,
said Uganda was taking pride in the fact that trade between UAE and Kampala was
growing despite the fact that it was tilted in favour of the Middle East
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Pearls, precious stones, metals and coins were Uganda’s main exports to
the UAE in 2018, fetching the country up to USD 514m.
Other exports to the Arab country included mineral fuels, oils. Edible
vegetables, roots and tubers are other products that Uganda takes to the UAE.
However, these don’t match the $784m import bill that Uganda spent in UAE in
2018. Electronics lead the pack of the goods that Uganda imports from there.
According to Biyinzika, the government push to establish the agriculture
free zone will be an opportunity for Ugandans to push fresh produce to the UAE
to bridge the trade deficit.
Michael Werikhe, the state minister for trade, said Uganda can take
advantage of its organic products to capture the UAE market. He added that
coffee, spices, and tea could be premium products to sell to the Arabs.