By Julius Businge
The Uganda government has promised tangible support to the Indian community eying Uganda as their immediate investment destination, Amelia Kyambadde the Trade and industry minister said.
Speaking to the Confederation of Indian Industry and the members of the visiting Indian delegation in Kampala on Oct. 16, the minister said despite the presence of some challenges in starting and running business in Uganda, the government was ready to support foreign investors to succeed in business.
Among the challenges Kyambadde mentioned the bureaucracy involved in registering and starting a business, the need for better infrastructure say roads, railways and a volatile economic environment among others.
“We shall do whatever it takes to support you,” she told the-would be investors, adding Uganda had a potential market of over 34million people plus the other foreign market.
“We do offer investment incentives for instance import duty exemptions among others,” she added.
The minister explained that Uganda is politically stable and has a liberalised economy, something that gives hope for business growth.
Most Indian investors take Uganda to be politically unstable following their expulsion by former president Idi Amin in 1970s.
Available data indicate that the volume of bilateral trade between Uganda and India has increased from $220.3million in 2009 to $306.4million in 2011 with most analysts expecting the volumes to grow with time as the two economies continue to thrive.
Uganda’s economy grew at 3.2% in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012 down from 6.7% expansion in the year earlier due to the volatile economic environment charactirised by high inflation and the depreciation of the shilling against foreign currencies.
Analysts are expecting positive economic growth in the medium term after inflation falling to single digits [5.4% in September].