President urges GCC investors to do business in Uganda

Monday 28th May 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has opened the 1st Uganda-Gulf Co-operation Council Conference on Investment with a call the member countries to come and invest in Uganda which he said would go a long way in boosting the country further to be among the best investment destinations in the world.

The 3-day conference that began this morning is taking place at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel. It has been organized by the Gulf Co-operation Council in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).

The President assured the GCC members that Uganda has all the incentives to investment that include a bigger market, abundant raw materials, good infrastructure, a skilled labour force and a well formulated and managed micro-economic frame work.

Speaking specifically on the issue of market, the President informed the conference that Uganda with a total population of 34 million offers immense opportunities to entrepreneurs to do brisk business with profit. He also said that entrepreneurs in Uganda can tap into business opportunities available in the regional market of the East African Community with 135 million people as well as the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) market. He added that the African continent is working on having a common market.

The President further said that investing in Uganda enables entrepreneurs access the American market through the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), the European Union’s Everything But Arms (EBA) market as well as the Chinese tax and quota free market.

Mr. Museveni further told the conference participants to take advantage of the abundant natural resource that Uganda is endowed with so that they utilize them by adding value to them. He assured them of the availability of the country’s educated and skilled labour force that is available to investors in every sector of the economy.

The President told the conference that the National Resistance Movement Government right from the time it took over power in 1986 worked on controlling inflation and ensuring micro-economic stability to boost investors’ confidence. He assured them that investors were free to put their money in the economy and repatriate it whenever they want.

Regarding investment infrastructure, the President said that the country has experienced shortage of electricity due to overreliance on external funding but assured the conference that Uganda will never experience electricity outages in the future as the government will continue to build more power dams and make use of the recently discovered oil and gas to even generate more power.

He, therefore, appealed to the Gulf Cooperation Council investors to specifically invest in the sectors of tourism, agro-processing, wood products, fishing and other fresh water businesses on top of products of knowledge, health and innovations.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ms Maria Kiwanuka, assured the GCC members that Uganda has for the last 25 years had a stable and predictable investment environment. She said that with the discovery of oil and gas and improved infrastructure, the country buoys in the best investment future.

Dr. Abdel- Rahman Taha, the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, said the GCC conference was convened in Uganda because of the importance their organization attaches to the investment opportunities available in the country.

He stressed that the faster economic growth rate exhibited by Uganda was one more reason why the GCC member countries prefer investing in Uganda especially today when the world economies are faced with difficulties and competing for the little available resources in the world.

Mr. Khalil Khonji, the Chairman of the Federation of GCC members, noted that to achieve economic growth, any country needs a vibrant private sector and said that African governments and Uganda in particular, need to attract direct foreign investments and support various entrepreneurs so as to cause development on the continent.

ENDS

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