President assures Thai entrepreneurs of quick investments’ returns in Uganda

Saturday 17th November 2012

President Yoweri Museveni, who is currently on a 3-day visit to Thailand, has said that Uganda has the best investment opportunities where one is assured of bigger and quicker returns. The President said this while addressing the Uganda-Thailand Business Forum at Plaza Athenee Hotel in Bangkok on the theme, “Investment Opportunities in the Republic of Uganda.” He said that the country has conducive weather, favourable laws, tax holidays, cheap and abundant labour and as well as abundant raw materials. Mr. Museveni said that in addition, there is increased market not only from the 34 million Ugandans and 140 million East African dwellers, but also an additional 140 million from COMESA which is approximately 500 million and the African continent that is currently having 1 billion people.

The President noted that although Uganda has attracted several investors in communication, manufacturing and real estate development, fields like agro-processing and tourism still have great opportunities for investment. “If there are companies interested in tourism, there are endless opportunities”, he said. He emphasized the need for more agro-processing industries to help the country reduce on the exportation of raw materials, especially coffee, cotton, beef, milk, fish, cereals and fruits. He was happy to note that Uganda can now process flour out of bananas where the country targets production of 53 metric tons per annum using science and technology. He also called on investors to partner up with Uganda in producing skilled manpower through training.

In his welcome remarks, the Thai Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Ninattumrong Boonsongpaisan said that business and trade is vital in strengthening cordial relations between the two countries. Currently, trade between Uganda and Thailand stands at US$20 million per annum. He called on the Thai Investment and Board of Traders to explore the great opportunities by investing in Uganda. He assured the President of the Thai Government commitment in this venture.

Dr. Fred Ssebowa, Director of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in his paper, “Uganda’s Strategic location in Africa”, outlined lucrative areas of investment in Uganda which include energy generation, agro- based industries, like fisheries and livestock, software development, telemedicine and medical equipment manufacture, among others. The Thai Consul to Uganda, Mr. James Mulwana, assured investors that the return on their investments is assured adding that although Uganda is landlocked, her strategic position and availability of raw materials and markets within the region itself makes it a formidable business hub for any investor.

Later, in separate meetings, President Museveni held talks with several prospective investors from Asia and Europe an infrastructure development, pharmaceutical production for both human and veterinary medicine, sugar processing, architecture and construction as well as leisure and tourism. The President assured them of government’s assistance in acquiring land, tax holidays and tax free importation on machines, among others, if they

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