A group of investors from Hunan, China's 7th most populous province and the 10th most extensive province by area -- want to invest about $1.8billion (about Shs6.3 trillion) in developing an industrial park in Katosi, Mukono district.
The Ugandan embassy in China says Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is in the final stages of concluding the mapping and titling of 10sqKm land located in Katosi about 40Kms from Kampala for the project.
Dubbed Hunan-Uganda Industrial Park, the infrastructure project will be financed by Haiping Group, which is involved in the development of medical technology.
The Industrial Park development is one of the five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU’s) under the framework cooperation agreement between Uganda and Hunan Province that were signed during President Yoweri Museveni’s visits to China in June 2019.
He was the Guest of Honor at the official opening of the first-ever China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE), one of the initiatives of President Xi Jinping under the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The Park will include agricultural processing, agricultural machinery, clothing and textile, building materials, electronics, logistics and medicines/pharmaceutical industries. Once completed, it is expected to create up to 400,000 jobs directly and about 1,000,000 indirectly.
UIA is mandated to develop 27 industrial and business parks around the country to create jobs, ease accessibility of land for investments, introduce new research technologies and skills as well as boost Uganda’s exports and therefore increase Uganda’s revenue base.
The Authority said in April that 413 investors in the industrial park space had already created about 45,000 direct jobs and 180,000 indirect jobs after pumping $3.5 billion in the sector.
The implementation of its new strategic plan for the years 2020/2021-2024/25 is expected to create direct and indirect 650,000 jobs by the year 2025. Nine public industrial parks have already been set up in Namanve, Bweyogerere, Luzira, Kasese, Mbarara SME, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti and Karamoja.
Other five private industrial parks are in Kapeeka, Lugazi, Buikwe and Mukono. As of December 2020, UIA had licensed 7,763 investment projects in various sectors, including manufacturing.
The bulk of the 4,200-plus manufacturing industries (factories) in Uganda have been licensed by UIA. Products from the industries are in both local and export markets. They include items like transformers, steel products, vehicles, electronics, plastic products, paper products, sugar and other processed foods, building materials, soaps and detergents, textiles and apparels, footwear, leather products, beverages, minerals, amongst others.
Uganda ranks second after Kenya in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in East Africa. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2020 World Investment Report, FDI flows to Uganda reached a record high of 1.3 billion dollars in 2019, a 20-percent increase from one billion dollars in 2018.