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Uganda’s trade in East African region has increased to 21 percent

Uganda coffee still remains one of the country’s best export.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A report on East Africa interstate trade has revealed that Uganda’s trade in the region has increased to 21 percent up from 14.6 percent in the last two years.

The increase in the last two years is 6.4 percent.

Statistics shared by East Africa Community- EAC Affairs ministry indicates that Uganda’s exports within the region fetched 1.5 trillion shillings in 2018 translating into a 21.2 percentage rise compared to 14.6 percent in 2017.

State Minister for EAC Affairs, Julius Wandera Maganda says Uganda’s growth in the East Africa region trade was majorly dominated by agricultural products such as coffee, maize, rice and cotton followed by manufactured goods.

“Manufactured goods such as cement, sugar, confectionery, fats and oils, pharmaceuticals, steel and steel products, beer and sugar were also traded across the region,” said Maganda.

He revealed the figures during the ongoing NRM manifesto week at Office of the Prime Minister –OPM on Thursday where he also shared his ministry’s achievements, challenges and pending plans.

Even though Uganda took lead in trade within the region, even other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda registered more than 13 percent growth while Burundi and South Sudan declined by 7.1 percent and 18.5 respectively.

Maganda further elaborated that elimination of non-tariff barriers and increased Intra-EAC trade in intermediate products like cold rolled iron and clinker boosted the regions overall growth to 5.98 billion US dollars up from 5.47 billion USD in two years.

“The growth in Intra-regional trade was attributed to favourable weather conditions over the year which increased production of agricultural commodities leading to higher exports that are traded among the partner states especially maize, dairy products and rice,” the report on EAC trade reads.

Nevertheless, EAC trade growth rate lags behind compared to the African average which stands at about 20 percent per annum. This is blamed on similarity in goods produced in EAC such particularly agricultural and industrial products which are homogenous with little scope.

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