BY RITAH MUKASA
The 12th UK-Uganda Trade and Investment Convention (UCUK) was launched today at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
The annual event is scheduled to take place on September 10 2022 at Park Plaza London Riverbank, United Kingdom under the theme ‘Explore Investment Opportunities in Uganda’.
It will bring together Ugandans in the diaspora, experts, business community, professionals and organizations in Uganda, the UK and beyond to explore opportunities in Uganda.
Last year, the convention which happened virtually was officiated by the Prime Minister Honorable Robinah Nabbanja.
It was also attended by over 500 professionals, government officials, diasporas and business communities from all over the world.
The event was also graced by Lord Dolar Popat, UK trade envoy to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda’s High commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Ambassador Julius Peter Moto among others.
Meanwhile, Willy Mutenza, UCUK chairman says that the event is going to focus on opportunities in manufacturing and infrastructural development, agribusiness, renewable energy, real estate and digital technology.
They will also discuss issues pertaining to financing start-ups, public- private partnerships, women in business, healthcare, FinTech’s, power and renewable energy, venture capital and private equity among others.
Over 1,000 participants are anticipated to attend.
It is organized with the support of Lord Popat, department for International Trade (Kampala), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda Private Sectors Foundation (UPSF), London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Uganda High Commission to the UK among others.
Bernard Magulu, executive director of Bank of Africa says, “the convention will promote and facilitate international trade between Uganda and UK”.
It will also enable participants to share knowledge whilst creating a platform for exhibiting skills and expanding networks.
Also, small businesses will be able to connect with financial partners to develop.
“I have seen people come to the convention with nothing but after picking up ideas at the event, they are now millionaires,” he said.
Also, participants will discover their own and others’ potential and forge ways of working together.
Aside from that, London being the Fintech capital of the world, the forum will open up opportunities for British and Ugandan firms to establish deeper relationships and unlock new economic Fintech partnerships.
Mutenza added that the Convention will also bring to the table discussions around environmental concerns, greenfield investments in oil and gas and investment opportunities in Democratic Republic of Congo which recently joined the East Africa Community.
“Businesses can also exhibit and target over 200,000 Ugandans in the UK,” he opines, adding that, “The convention is now the largest Ugandan gathering in Europe.”
Participants from Uganda will be provided with a VISA letter and all the necessary information.
Stephen Asiimwe, the Executive Director of the PSFU tipped Ugandans on what to do in order to attract foreign business partners.
“Be very professional, meticulous, trustworthy, consistent, time conscious and presentable,” he listed.
He divulged that Europeans are keen on how one behaves, communicates and presents themselves and their brand.
“Have good credentials and website and ensure to establish partnerships while selling Uganda’s culture and tourism,” he advised.
Asiimwe added that with Uganda Airlines’ direct flight from Entebbe to Heathrow in UK, Ugandans will easily benefit from the bounty of trade opportunities in the UK and vice versa.
“UK is the fifth largest economy in the world with over 2.7trillion dollars. Tap in that but I also encourage diasporans to come back home and invest in Uganda,” he appealed.
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