The minister of state for foreign affairs Henry Oryem Okello has urged Ugandans involved in the trade sector to take advantage of the growing relationship between Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.
The minister who was speaking at the 4th Annual Uganda UAE Virtual Convention, which started today and will end tomorrow, said the relationship between Uganda and the United Arab Emirates is strong, invaluable, and is developing further.
“Uganda has signed several agreements and others are being negotiated with the UAE,” he said.
“I wish to urge the business community to take advantage of these enabling instruments to promote trade.”
The convention has been organized as part of the foreign affairs ministry’s efforts to contribute to the realization of the government’s focus on attracting Foreign Direct Investment and boosting the trade and tourism sectors, which are among key areas of implementation in the NDP III.
The UAE is the most important crossroad country in the Middle East, linking Uganda with the Middle East, and is the most important hub for transiting to the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
According to the ministry of finance, Uganda’s major export destination in August 2020 was the middle East.
“The Middle East accounted for 54.1% of all exports out of Uganda in August 2020, almost a double increase from the 27.8% the region accounted for in August 2019. The value of exports to the Middle East more than doubled between August 2019 and August 2020 while the value of exports to all other trading regions declined in the same period,” the ministry says.
“On a country-specific level, 53.6% of Uganda’s exports were destined to one country, the United Arab Emirates in August 2020.”
Uganda is also preparing to participate in the Dubai World Expo 2020, which will run from October 1, 2021— March 31, 2022.
It was originally scheduled for October 20, 2020—April 10, 2021, but was pushed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government of UAE has generously offered Uganda a pavilion at the Opportunity theme park. We are very appreciative and grateful for the offer and will utilize the pavilion to showcase Uganda for what it is,” the minister said.
“Participation at this Expo is expected to promote Uganda’s products, culture, and diversity to the entire world. There are still enormous opportunities for the increase in trade between our two countries. We need to involve the private sector more in Convention like this as they are in the front line of business and trade, in order to increase the trade volume between our countries.”