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The East African Business Council Chairman and Board Directors paid a courtesy visit to .H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and Member of the Summit of EAC Heads of State on Saturday, 24th August 2019 at the Entebbe State House, Uganda

Leading the EABC delegation, Mr. Nick Nesbitt, EABC Chairman, was accompanied by Mr. Patrick Bitature, PSFU Chairman and EABC Board Directors & Members namely Mr. Mwine Jim Kabeho, EABC Vice-Chairman & Director, Madhvani Group of Companies, Hon. Peter Mathuki, CEO EABC, Mr. Chris Diaz, EABC Board Director & Group Director Bidco Africa Ltd, Ms. Barbara Mulwana, EABC Board Director& Director Nice House of Plastics,, Mr. Godfrey Simbeye, CEO Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Mr. Gideon Badagawa, CEO PSFU,  Mr. Simon Kaheru, EABC Board Director, Ms. Merian Sebunya, Director PSFU & Member EABC as well as  Ms. Waturi wa Matu, Senior Director, TradeMark East Africa and Mr. Moses Ogwal, PSFU.

“Your Excellency, first and foremost allow me, on behalf of the business community and private sector in East Africa congratulate you and more sincerely thank you not only for engaging closely towards a common vision with your counterparts in the other EAC Partner States but also for being a steadfast believer in regional integration,” said Mr. Nick Nesbitt.

“This will go a long way in instilling confidence to the citizens and business community,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

He further said EABC is a respected coordinator and holds respective dialogue with EAC governments with balanced regional views and policy stance. He urged for closer government partnership and involvement with the private sector in policy formulation to enhance the competitiveness of the EAC region, value addition in agriculture, mining &  services sectors among others as well as strengthening regional value chains.

Mr. Nebsitt  engaged H.E. President Museveni on the need and importance to fast track the  comprehensive review of EAC CET; Liberalization of Opens Skies;  One Network Area on Telecommunication; Harmonization of Standards in the EAC; Strengthening the EAC Secretariat on enforcement of laws; Market access with Democratic Republic of the Congo; Transport interlinkages in the region - Road, Rail and Water (lake Victoria); Inter-governmental trade dispute resolution mechanism and closer government involvement and government partnership with the private sector.

"A healthy and vibrant private sector will support the social and economic development of the EAC. Involvement and partnership with private sector in budget planning process will allow the growth of local & regional value chains, hence reducing the imports gap in the EAC region,” said Mr. Nesbitt.

 “Comprehensive review of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET) is yet to be finalized four years down the line adversely affecting intra-EAC trade,” said Hon. Peter Mathuki, EABC CEO.

 “Liberalize the incoming cargo flights as it will increase cargo volume supporting exports of EAC horticultural products,” urged Ms. Waturi Matu, TMEA.

In his remarks, H.E. President Yoweri Museveni reaffirmed the importance of partnership with the private sector. “Where does wealth creation come from? Prosperity comes from trade! Commercial Agriculture, Industry, Services, ICT” said His Excellency.

H.E. President Museveni re-emphasized that there is no serious industry that can survive on the internal market alone, free trade is the minimum leaders can do to uplift East African livelihoods.

“Private sector is the dynamic and active element that unites the factors of economy, i.e. land, natural resources and labour. The private sector brings on board entrepreneurship and capital,” said H.E. President Museveni

H.E. President Museveni advised for a common strategic ideology for all East Africa .i.e. All Governments should see the primary interest is to promote prosperity, therefore Trade and partnership with Private Sector. H.E. further elaborated that there are no future markets for East African good and services without free-trade in East Africa Community, Africa and Globally. No country’s internal market only is sufficient and viable to survive

Uganda's 3rd Trade & Business Facilitation symposium

The 3rd Trade and Business Facilitation Symposium organized by the Consulate of Uganda in Mombasa was hosted on Monday 12, at the Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa.

The Symposium took place under the theme: Enhancing Trade Facilitation along the Northern Corridor’.

Key on the agenda is in depth discussions on how to increase the level of trade between the two countries and how best to utilize the Northern Corridor.

In attendance is Hon. Amelia Anne Kyambadde Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Members of Parliament of respective Committees on Trade, Foreign Affairs, Uganda’s Consul General to Mombasa Amb. Tayebwa Katureebe, Amb. Kiema Kilonzo, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Amb. Richard Kabonero Uganda’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, Uganda’s Ambassador to UAE Amb. Zaake Kibedi, Uganda’s Consul General to Guangzhou Amb. Solomon Rutega, Uganda’s Charge D’Affaires to Qatar Amb. Simon Ajiku and Amb. Paul Mukumbya Head Regional Peace Department.

Others include Mr. Micheal Wamai Head Regional Economic Department Commissioner Dickson Kateshembwa Commissioner Customs and other Senior officials Government of Uganda and Officials from the Republic of Kenya.

In her opening remarks, Hon. Amelia noted that the main objective of this symposium is to bring together different stakeholders involved in trade facilitation to discuss and exchange views and provide an opportunity to address existing and emerging the challenges faced in the export and import trade.

The Minister further reiterated that Government of Uganda remains committed to the EAC Regional Integration processes and putting in place measures to facilitate trade noting that the fact that this Symposium is taking place at Mombasa Port, which is the main Port connecting the hinterland to international markets is manifestation of the thrust on enhancing trade with our land locked Country.

Since 2015, Transit Traffic cleared through the port has witnessed a growth of 6.5% percent.

As of today, Mombasa Port has recorded a container growth 14.3%, of this 75% of the transit traffic is destined for the Ugandan Market; making Uganda the second largest user of the Port after the Republic of Kenya.

Amb. Katureebe, Uganda’s Consul General in Mombasa informed that some of the expected outcomes of this 2 day Business Synposium include strengthening cooperation; and enhancing coordination and partnerships among stakeholders in the trade value chain in addressing common challenges, Provision increased understanding on key trends and issues in regard to combatting counterfeit products, Enlighten on key issues of tax policy, administration and the rationale to pay taxes.

He further reiterated that the Syposium will deliberate on some common challenges affecting the business community in Mombasa namely, scanning of transit cargo, delays in verification of cargo , overstay of cargo at container freight stations by importers, under declaration and mis declaration by the business community to mention but a few.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Kiema Kilonzo Kenya’s High Commissioner to Uganda noted trade relations with Uganda have increased to about USD 1.5 billion as exports from Uganda to Kenya. It is now USD 77.4 billion from Kenya to Uganda.

In the Tourism Industry, it is about USD 1.5 billion with Kenya.

He further highlighted that much as one of the key objectives of this symposium is to Provide an opportunity for participants to appreciate the Kenya import market, emphasis should be made on addressing the Non Trade Barriers that impede and slow down trade between both countries.

The symposium will have interactive sessions and presentations from the Private Sector, Government Officials and other Stakeholders involved in the import and export business to exchange views on opportunities, challenges faced, lessons learnt and strategies.

These will include; Officials from Government Ministries and Institutions both from Kenya and Uganda, such as: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) and representatives from Uganda Missions in Nairobi, Dar-es Salaam and Guangzhou; select Members of the Parliamentary Committees on Tourism, Trade and Industry; and Foreign Affairs; as well as the Private Sector Foundation, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) andUganda Insurance Association.

Others are; Ugandan Traders (Importers and Exporters); Diaspora; Logistics and forwarding companies; Shipping Lines to Uganda; Uganda-bound Cargo Handlers; and PVoC-designated Inspection Agencies (SGS, Intertek, Veritus) etc.

The 3rd Trade and Business Facilitation Symposium sponsored the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Trade Mark East Africa, Uganda Property Holdings, Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority.

Source: PML daily

PSFU RECEIVED USD 650,000 FROM TMEA TO PROMOTE PUBLIC-PRIVATE SECTOR DIALOGUE (PPD) FOR TRADE & INVESTMENT

On Thursday, 22nd August 2019, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) signed a partnership agreement worth USD 650,000 with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) to address challenges in transport and logistics such as infrastructure, transport policy & regulation, licensing, fees and other obstacles along the Northern Corridor effectively absorbing the National Logistics Platform. TMEA was represented by Ms. Waturi Wa Matu, Senior Director Business Competitiveness; Mrs. Edith Mwanje, Permanent Secretary Ministry of EAC Affairs witnessed on behalf of the Government of Uganda; Mrs. Merian Sebunya & Mr. Francis Kisirinya represented PSFU.

It has been noted that to strengthen & sustain Uganda’s trade and investment; it is critical that an enabling environment be put in place to guarantee growth and predictability. PPD will play a crucial role in addressing constraints, providing short term stimulus with long term impact and contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.