Kampala, Uganda| THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa on Tuesday August 1, 2017 met the visiting Serbian State Secretary Nemanja Steavnovic at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Kampala.
The purpose of his visit is to deliver a message to President Yoweri Museveni from the new President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic.
Kutesa hailed Nemanja for his visit and revealed that Uganda and Serbia have a long history of trade partnerships.
Recalling the historical friendship between Uganda and Serbia, Kutesa stated that Uganda and Serbia formally established diplomatic relations in 1987. This was the period when Uganda was promoting the barter trade policy through Produce Marketing Board.
At that time Uganda and Serbia agreed to the barter trade policy, culminating into the repair of the Mityana-Mubende road, and rehabilitation of the former Apollo Hotel (later renamed Kampala Sheraton) among others.
The two Ministers agreed that the long relationship between the two countries should translate into more economic gains. The meeting was also attended by State Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Affairs Henry Okello Oryem
Serbia strong in ICT and agriculture
Steavnovic stated that Uganda could learn a lot from Serbia’s expertise particularly in the application of ICT in Agriculture.
He added that NOVISAD, a Serbian company, is already cooperating with National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to transform Uganda’s agricultural sector. Victoria group, another Serbian private investment group is ready to cooperate in crop production and processing.
The company works with over 400 cooperatives and provides farmers with tested, high quality and high yielding seeds (only Non- GMO), Fertilizers, pesticides and financial support. Victoria group also deals in oil seed processing, technical analysis and testing of oil seed especially sunflower.
Steavnovic intimated that Serbia had a deep interest in working with Uganda to build investor confidence, promote trade and investment and thus enhance the development of investment projects. His government also expressed her willingness to work with Uganda on technical cooperation and capacity building in the Defense sector
The Ministers agreed on a joint visit to Serbia of Ministers of Agriculture, Defence and Energy to follow up on further areas of cooperation in those respective sectors.
State Minister Okello, pointed out that Serbia, which is a reknown consumer of coffee at 31,000 tonnes of coffee a year would find a reliable supply of quality Coffee from Uganda and encourage the State Secretary to interest Coffee businesses in Serbia to trade in Ugandan Coffee.
On the Oil industry, Okello explained that a new area of production of petroleum by-products would also be worthwhile for Serbia to explore.