NRM MANIFESTO WEEK | The Ministry of Trade implemented the manifesto commitment of continuing fast-tracking the East African Community (EAC) economic and political integration in line with the vision of having a single monetary union and achieving political federation of all the EAC member states. Economic integration was deepened through engagement in sectoral councils (resolving the outstanding NTBs and facilitate smooth trading under the COVID 19 pandemic). Also achieved was implementation of the Common Market Protocol where implementation of the Northern Corridor Initiative started, Signing of the Mutual Recognition Agreement to ease movement of persons in the professions of Engineers, lawyers, accountants; ease of movement of persons by having a common tourism visa.
The Ministry sensitized, organized and supported the business community to take advantage of AGOA, Everything but Arms, COMESA, EAC and the Chinese markets. Also, gave the Uganda Export Promotion Board targets to increase the volume of exports to these markets. Hence National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) was implemented and focuses on preferential markets. Sensitizations of the business community continuously being held.
Companies were assessed and trained on various aspects of exporting including
- Modes of transport (50)
- Strategy & planning (63)
- Financing (46)
- Contracting (39)
- Marketing (69)
- Digital marketing (60)
- Services exports (33) etc.
A mini-audit of export facilities and companies ongoing.
Overall, the implementation of the above has had the following Impact:
- Exports to the EU have grown by 9.6% between 2016-20, from US$ 460.9 million in 2016 to US$ 505.43 million in 2020.
- Exports to COMESA have increased by 12% between 2016-20, from US$ 1,141.10 billion in 2016 to US$ 1,278.43 billion in 2020
- Exports to the Middle East have grown by 271% between 2016-20, from US$ 506.16 million in 2016 to US$ 1,865.88 billion in 2020
In order to promote trade in Ugandan made products, the Ministry ofTrade Industries and Coorperatives (MTIC) participated in a number of trade Expos held to show case Ugandan products. Such expos included:
- the 20th China International Organic and Green Food Industry Expo 14th – 16th April 2016. Five companies dealing in: Coffee, Cocoa, Cereals and Fruits and vegetables participated.
- Macfrut International Trade Fair 2017, and 2018 in Italy: a total of Twenty-One (21) Companies in Fruits and Vegetable Sector participated
- Uganda – Dubai convention 2017: One Hundred (100) companies interested in UAE market participated, and received export leads for Ginger, Beans, sesame, Avocado and Coffee
- Expo 2017 Astana 10th June to 10th September 2017, Uganda promoted tea, coffee and tourism. Four (4) companies participated. Uganda a secured a deal export leads to supply over 50.000 tons of tea per year to Kazakhstan
- Uganda Investment Summit in Mumbai India, 2018: Ten potential buyers of sesame seeds, green gram, coffee, Beans, Avocado, Onions, minerals identified
- Coffee and Tea RUSEXPO 2018: Two (2) potential tea buyers identified by Uganda Tea Development Agency
- Thirteen (13) companies were supported to participate in the B2B meetings in Lusaka during the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 10-11th September 2018.
- Project to Promote Export of Services (ITC enabled services) supported by ITC and CBI: Over 25 companies have been linked to buyers through the following events; Mobile World Congress – Barcelona Spain, CEBIT – Hanover Germany, Transform Africa – Kigali Rwanda, She Trades Global – Liverpool UK, Ethiopia ICT EXPO – Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Kampala Innovation Week (KIW)- Kampala Uganda, World Export Development Forum (WEDF) –Lusaka Zambia.
- The Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2018) in Cairo, Egypt 11 -17th December 2018 was the 1st event ever to provide a unique platform for promotion Intra-African trade, facilitate information exchange to and enable sustainable implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Seven exporting companies participated, and five potential buyers were identified and linked to exporters while three potential investors identified to be linked to UIA
- Beijing Expo 2019, June 2019. Sixteen private sector exhibitors participated in the exhibition.
- 1st China – Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE): Twelve (12) private sector exhibitors participated in the exhibition and displayed products such as coffee, tea, flowers (roses), milk powder, vanilla, chilli pepper, sesame, chia seeds, Shea butter, dried fruits, wines, spirits, fish, tourism and investment products and opportunities
- 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE): Seven companies from the sectors of Coffee, Tea, Dairy, Cocoa, Sesame, Cassava Flour, Honey, Shea butter, Coffee, and Art craft/cow horns participated and the following products were showcased: dried fruits, powder milk, tea, coffee, chocolate and sesame. Ten exports leads for coffee, sesame, tea and cassava flour were received.
The impact of these trade expos helped advertise Ugandan products in trade expos worldwide. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, no expos have been held since May 2020.
The Ministry implemented Trade Facilitation measures such as the Electronic Cargo Tracking System, construction of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) at Mpondwe, the National Trade Portal, and the Electronic Single Window ongoing. In addition to the following One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) at Busia, Elegu, Mutukula and Mirama Hills. The Impact so far, is reduced business costs and reduced waiting time for border clearances.