Uganda plans to open an investment office in Doha, Qatar to facilitate prospective investors with information on trade, investment opportunities and to promote tourism.
“Uganda will open an investment office in Doha. It will be part of Uganda’s Embassy in Qatar andwill also work on the promotion of tourism,” said President Yoweri Museveni as he addressed 60 members of the Qatar Chamber and Qatar Business association at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday.
Museveni told the Qatar businessmen that “there is free entry and exit of investors in our country. Let the Islamic Bank come to Uganda and save investors from the challenge of high interest rates.”
President Museveni noted that while the Arab region was close to Africa, not much trade was going on between the African continent and the Arab peninsula.He observed that there was need for the Arab region and Africa to work together, adding that Africa was a huge market that is growing.
The president, on a 3-day state visit to the country, is accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.
Uganda a good investment decision
Museveni told the Qatar business leaders that the more the business the two region’s conduct, the more they shall prosper. He reminded the businessmen that the African continent has a population of 1.25 billion people adding that it was expected to increase to 2.5 billion in the next 5 years.
He said that by investing in Uganda, which has got a population of 40 million people, they do not only sell to us but to the East African region that is endowed with a population of 170 million people while the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa has got over 500 million people.
Museveni urged the Quatar community to work with Uganda to process the hematite steel that can be used for building infrastructure that includes dams in Uganda. He also encouraged them to engage in agro processing.
“When you invest in Uganda you will sell up to the global level. We do not want Qatar to grow items but to process them. The areas where we need support and investment are the minerals development. We do not believe in exporting unprocessed minerals. You can invest in another iron ore processing industry since the one operated by the Chinese today produces 300,000 tons of steel per annum,” he said.
Uganda has got trade agreements with the USA for zero tax rates for a total of 6,000 products, with the European Union for all products except arms and another agreement with China for 440 products.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Qatar Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu attended the meeting. The members of the Chamber pledged to organize a visit to Uganda.
Museveni meets Qatar Foundation Chairperson
Earlier in the day, President Museveni held a meeting with Sheikha Mouza bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a semi-private, non-profit organization founded in 1995 by then Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his wife bint Nasser. The organization seeks to nurture Qatar’s future leaders, supports innovation and an open society that seeks economic prosperity through knowledge acquisition.
As Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser has spearheaded activities and projects in basic and higher education, establishing several high quality, non-profit private schools and learning institutions for children and young people in Qatar.
In the meeting, where the President presented a book on Uganda’s tourism potential to his host, Museveni and bint Nasser agreed that Uganda and Qatar establish a joint think tank that will look at furthering the two countries connectivity through language, culture and religion.
Uganda, the meeting agreed, would send a delegation to Qatar to study its technical education system focusing on new technologies in water and energy. Qatar will in turn send a team to Uganda to appreciate its technical education and see ways of supporting it.