UK Convention’s Flashback: Remarks H.E. Julius Peter Moto, Uganda High Commissioner to the UK
Government committed to attracting quality Foreign Direct Investments
Despite the challenges occasioned by COVID 19, Government has continued to attract high quality Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country in all sectors.
This was said by His Excellency Julius Peter Moto, High Commissioner of Uganda in London, during the virtual Uganda UK Investment and Trade convention, held on 11th September 2021, on which over 500 participants attended.
He stressed that even with lockdown effects and other inherent issues like poverty, inadequate infrastructures, and inequitable distribution of utilities, industrial power and financial services, a lot of FDIs have been attracted into Uganda.
“Uganda is endowed with natural resources. I encourage all investors to come to this gifted country,” he appealed.
Moto added that Uganda’s location in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa makes it land linked and gives it an ideal strategic base to become a regional hub of tourism, trade, and investment.
“It is mainly through trade and investment that nations rise to wealth and prosperity,” he affirmed.
Ambassador Moto urged investors to take advantage of a stable political climate and economic growth strategies under the able leadership of President Museveni, who was mandated by Ugandans in the January 2021 elections, to engage in investment activities as the country implements the third National Development Plan (NDP III) towards the attainment of Uganda Vision 2040 statement thus: “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years” as approved by Cabinet in 2007.
He thanked Willy Mutenza, a Ugandan investor based in the UK for organizing the convention that brings together Ugandans, diasporans and foreigners interested in investing in Uganda.
It was officiated by Prime Minister, Hon. Robinah Nabbanja who highlighted that the event aims at promoting and strengthening investment opportunities between Uganda and UK.
“Uganda is open for business and ready to partner in all sectors. Investors are welcome and assured of a favorable and safe investment environment,” she said.
UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, Lord Dolar Popat said United Kingdom wants to continue being a critical partner for Uganda.
“UK is Uganda’s largest donor. In 2020, we donated 100,000 COVID 19 test kits to 27 districts and reached over 500,000 children. To fight against COVID 19, the UK has todate donated 1,725,280 vaccines through the COVAX scheme. The UK will continue to support the COVID response in Uganda and other countries, contributing over 100m doses globally in the coming months, and advocating globally for fairer distribution of vaccines, helping us all to reduce COVID risk” he highlighted.
“The UK anticipates investing over $594 billion in different sectors including agriculture and trade. The UK export finance scheme was increased from £300 million to £1 billion and Mr Moto and I campaigned to make this increase possible. UKEF now is ready to continue to support technology transfer to Uganda” Lord Popat added
He also applauded the Ugandan government for investing in Uganda Airlines. He said this will help boost trade and tourism between the two countries.
Uganda’s trade and investment future is bright
According to the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Uganda is one of the countries attracting the most FDIs in East Africa.
Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic has significantly slowed down its performance.
Moto highlighted that According to UNCTAD’s 2020 World Investment Report, FDI in Uganda decreased by 35% from US$ 1.3 billion in 2019 to US$ 823 million in 2018. Also, engineering works on the Lake Albert oil project slowed down due to COVID 19.
The approval of the US$ 3.5bn East African crude oil pipeline project, which will lead to the construction of a 1,400km pipeline from Uganda to Tanga seaport in Tanzania, bodes well for investment in both countries.
FDI rose from US$1055 million in 2018 to US$1266 million in 2019, representing 20% increase, as per UNCTAD report 2020. FDI stock rose from US$ 13,051 million to US$14,317 million representing 9.7% during the same period, with the resultant rise in greenfield investments that rose in number from 17 to 29 in the same period and associate value of greenfield investment also rose from US$366 million in 2018 to US$960 million in 2019 representing a whopping 162%.
Full article at https://www.ugandanconventionuk.org/
BY RITAH MUKASA