KAMPALA, 16th July 2022. A contingent of over 250-plus business and government players travelled from Uganda are traveling to Juba, in South Sudan for a three-day joint business forum, exhibition and trade fair.
The event which started on Monday,18th through to Wednesday, 20th July was spearhead by the Uganda Embassy in Juba and supported by Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU). The official function started on Tuesday, 19th and Wednesday, 20th July 2022. The Beijing Hotel was the official venue for the forum and exhibition.
Over 50 companies participated and over 20 exhibited their products at this forum, the first of its kind between the two countries. Manufactured goods, banking and financial services, ICT, insurance, pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality, construction, education, health services, transport and aviation, professional services, agribusiness, horticultural products, entertainment and film production services, media services, dairy and poultry, fish, confectioneries, fortified foods, packaging services, petroleum products, health care, cosmetics and beauty care products, are among the many services and products that were promoted.
The Uganda Airlines arranged three flights for this epic three-day event. An estimated over 50 people travelled by road to Juba.
The conference, whose theme was, “Enhancing Bilateral Trade and Investment through Industrialization and Infrastructure Development” was intended to enhance trade relations and address the challenges impeding these relations.
The private sector was being coordinated by the PSFU and was represented by the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), Federation of Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (FSME), Uganda Shippers Council, Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU), National Cultural Forum (NCF), KACITA, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, Hortifresh, ICT Association, Uganda Health Federation (UHF), among others.
The event was attended by officials from the Embassy of Uganda to South Sudan, the Embassy of South Sudan to Uganda, Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of both countries, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control under Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Ministry of East African Affairs, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Bureau of Standards, the Uganda Export Promotion Board and Uganda Airlines.
Since January PSFU has facilitated and organized trade and business missions to Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and recently to Kinshasa and Goma in the DRC.
The South Sudan- Uganda Business Forum was a private sector-driven event which engaged both the public sector and business partners from both countries through information sharing, working sessions, business-to-business interactions, government-to-business interactions and a business exhibition to showcase South Sudan and Uganda business companies. It will focus on solutions to business challenges and opportunities to boost trade and investment relations between private and public sector stakeholders.
Both Uganda and South Sudan are members of the East African Community (EAC) major Regional Organizations. South Sudan is also one of Uganda’s biggest trading partners with trade volumes amounting to over $400 million dollars and this Business Forum aims at increasing trade volumes to 1 billion dollars annually.
Ambassador of Uganda to the Republic of South Sudan, H.E Brig. Gen. Ronnie Balya, while launching the Business Forum hailed the excellent bilateral relations between Uganda and South Sudan. He appreciated the efforts of the two Embassies for originating the idea and said, ‘I am convinced that working together will not only improve our cordial bilateral relations but also greatly improve the livelihoods of our two people.’ He also emphasized the need for business people to discuss challenges and identify opportunities to promote trade and investment in both South Sudan and Uganda.
“This is one of the strategic frameworks for the private sector to grow our markets, increase jobs and business opportunities.” Said Chairman PSFU, Hon. Elly Karuhanga.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Mr. Stephen Asiimwe mentioned that the PSFU is committed to continue with the priority of looking for markets for our business people. Opening new markets for our business people will trigger new employment opportunities, especially for our unemployed youth, in Uganda. With the support from the Mastercard Foundation and UNDP, at least six lead firms have benefited from business development support to participate and exhibit at the forum. These companies include Farm Uganda, Grain Pulse, Delight Uganda Ltd, Macdough Foods Ltd, Nice House of Plastics and Newman foods Ltd. Opening new markets for them will lend them the opportunity to provide more youth employment opportunities. Therefore, we are partners in this forum to ensure that we promote trade for our products and services. He added that we have been informed that the target sector areas are; trade and commerce, mining sector, tourism sector, textiles, and oil and gas.
South Sudan is one of Uganda’s major trade partners in the East African Community (EAC). Exports from Uganda to South Sudan have increased at an annualized rate of 46%, from US$17.3 million in 2012 to US$ 357 million in 2020. South Sudan exports goods worth US$ 850 million and imports goods and services worth US$ 1.1 billion.
The top imports of South Sudan are Motor cars and other motor vehicles; principally designed for the transport of people (US$78.5M), Vehicles; for the transport of goods (US$52.3M), Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included (US$45.9M), Grain sorghum (US$38.7M), and Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form (US$35.9M), importing mostly from Uganda (US$357M), Kenya (US$216M), United Arab Emirates (US$192M), China (US$156M), and United States (US$38.9M).
For more information, contact;
Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU)
PR & Communications Manager
Tel: +256 785464282