May 29, 2024

Rwanda and Uganda brought together the private sector to view the business and investment opportunities 

Gen Odongo said that he likes to be told that there is corruption in business and investment in Uganda

Figures from the Ministry of Finance in Uganda, showed that the value of what the country sent to Rwanda in the first three months of 2022, decreased, where it was 220 thousand dollars per month from 16.6 million dollars per month in 2019.

However, in the last quarter of 2022, Rwanda’s imports from Uganda reached 60.55 million dollars from 15.64 million dollars in the nine months of that year.

In a meeting that brought together the private sector in the two countries on Thursday to look at the opportunities for trade and investment, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Gen Odongo Jeje Abubakhar, said that non-tax barriers continue to be an obstacle to trade and investment. of both countries.

Traders and investors in Rwanda and Uganda have pointed out that non-tariff barriers (NTBs), corruption and corruption are among the factors that continue to hamper trade between the two countries.

He said, “The joint meeting of the two countries, decided on the obstacles that are hindering the trade, including non-tariff barriers (NTBs), fees for unknown traders, tariffs, fees for services and notifying traders.”

He went on to say that wherever he goes, he talks to government officials who tell him that it will not be sold, and he immediately feels that it is a ‘corruption’.

“These barriers increase the cost of doing business. This morning we decided to continue working together to solve all of them.

Gen Odongo said that both countries have prioritized the private sector as the engine of the economy and there are business opportunities in both countries but the status quo is not good.

“Last year, the business was down to $7.2 million. This requires us to put a lot of effort from both the government and the people, to recover and change this business”.

He asked businessmen to take advantage of the relationship between the two countries which is getting back on track, all economic activities and participate in it.

The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in charge of the East African Community, Prof. Dear Manasseh, he said that there are discussions to remove these barriers to trade.

Prof. Mr. Manasseh said that the challenges in the trade were discussed and some lines were given

He said, “Non-tariff barriers exist that are created by people and removed by people. These obstacles and others in the face of corruption are not allowed, whether they are barriers, notifying people…”

Ugandan traders say that ‘there are problems at the border where you leave Uganda and spend two hours at the border, you leave Rwanda and so on, and they ask that these barriers that slow people down are not removed.

Sales people were given assignments

The Director General of the Department of Development (RDB), Clare Akamanzi, said that Rwanda and Uganda share a strong history in trade, investment and culture.

He said that in 2019 before the Covid-19 epidemic, Uganda’s exports to Rwanda, mainly food and cement, were worth more than 200 million dollars.

He said “I think we can do more business with each other than here… Rwanda is progressing and you will come together with it”.

Rwanda is a country with an economic growth of over 8% per year, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.

Akamanzi said that the economy recovered after Covid-19 and is continuing, with an average growth of 8.2% in 2022.

He said, “It is easy to do business in Rwanda. The World Bank ranked Rwanda second in ease of doing business in Africa after Mauritius and 38th in the world.

Writing a business is easy and takes six hours. You can do it on the internet and get the document right away. Rwanda is safe. Corruption is the third worst crime in the world.

More than 23 investment projects originating in Rwanda are registered in the RDB. This investment is worth 252 million dollars, and has created more than 1,800 jobs.

Akamanzi said, “I believe that together we can do more than this. We can trade between Rwanda and Uganda but also expand the market to the level of Africa”.

Investor Denis Karera told traders that the African stock market has many opportunities for traders and investors, urging them to capitalize on it.

He assured that in the meeting between the two countries, non-tariff barriers were discussed and solutions are being sought.

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