African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2007

jaduong-leo.jpg<By Leo Odera Omolo, API/APN Correspondent



Egyptian investors have injected Ushs 220 billion in nine projects in Uganda and created 1,773 jobs in the country.

But out of this amount a total of USD 3.1 million has been invested in Agriculture, hunting, fishing and forestry sectors and other in construction and real estates and finance.

This was disclosed by the Egyptian Ambassador to Uganda Reda Bebars who explained that apart from the increased trade between the two countries, several multinational Egyptian copmanies had come into the country.

The envoy predicted that the number of investors and traders from Egypt would increase to take advantage of the 19 per cent tax reduction on imports offered by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Apart from the increased trade between the two countries, several multinationals had come into Uganda said the envoy.

They have been looking at trading and investing in Asia, Europe and South Africa, but these are not members of COMESA that offer a tax reduction on imports.

The Ambassador encourage the business communities in Uganda and Egypt to start exchange visits There should also be information dissemination on business opportunities and products, but we also count a lot on the media to promote investment opportunities, he said.

The envoy further disclosed that trade between Egypt and Uganda grew by 40 per cent in the 2005 2006 period.

Ambassador made these remarks while he was handing over 40 boxes of drugs to the Disaster Preparedness Minister Prof. Tarsil Kabwegyore in Kololo, Kampala last week.

The drugs were donated by the Egyptian government for the flood victims in the north and eastern Uganda. The region is in bad need for relief aid.

Meanwhile Ugandas economic freedom has put it in the fifth position out of 40 countries in sub-Sahara Africa, the 2007 economic freedom index has shown.

Economic freedom means individuals are free to work, produce and provide services, consume and invest the way they want while the freedom is protected by the state.

What is killing Ugandas investment climate is bureaucracy. For example, it takes long for an investor to acquire a land title deed.

The energy has been another challenge that has been disturbing investment promotion, the Uganda Investment Authority (VIA) board of Directors Chairman Patrick Bitature has said.

Bitature however, said the Presidential investors round table meeting had identified most of the obstacles to investment promotion and the government would address them.

In addition, VIA has drawn a five-year plan aimed at attracting investments that would bring technology, skills and jobs into Uganda.

Bitature said to fully implement the plan; the authority needs to double its staff to 60 or more. VIA would also require more government support through provision of state assets for exploitation rather that budget resources alone.

Published by API/APN tel +4793299739 or +4763002525

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