NRM holds talks with China’s ruling party
By Vision Reporter
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has held talks with the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) which assured him that their government would help Uganda to fast-track her industrialization strategy.
Mbabazi, who is also the NRM Secretary-General, led a party delegation at the invitation of the CPC, to follow up issues that were agreed on by the NRM Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping in Durban, South Africa during the BRICS Summit three months ago.
The top CPC officials were led by the Chinese Vice President, Li Yuanchao who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the highest executive organ of the ruling party.
During talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Tuesday, Mbabazi observed that "it is true we have challenges in taking our transformation agenda forward, and now seek assistance in development aspects such as industrialization, cadre identification and youth empowerment, information technology, and water resources management."
According to a release from his office, the Premier thanked the CPC for its support to the NRM and the government.
Mbabazi outlined areas for China's possible assistance as coordination of joint research, human resource development, social infrastructure, environmental management and mass mobilization for political consciousness to spur Uganda's industrialization strategy.
Yuanchao said it took China about 30 years to reach where it is, adding that it should take Uganda 20 or so years to do the same with prudent management of the nascent oil and gas sector.
He pointed out that this would yield the necessary capital to finance her industrialization strategy.
"The oil market is a global one that faces stiff competition and needs early exploitation and development to accumulate the initial capital for industrialization," Yuanchao noted.
On behalf of his government, he pledged package loans of any amount to Uganda on friendly terms.
In this respect, a package loan is one in which financing institutions in China would guarantee loans to fund Uganda's medium and long-term development projects.
The Prime Minister also met Li Ruogu, president of China Exim Bank that was chartered to implement state policies in foreign trade and diplomacy, and provide policy financial support to promote the export of Chinese products and services, among other tasks.
"We had fruitful discussions and he said it was possible for Chinese companies to do these contracts with the Bank's support," Mbabazi said.
The Bank pledged to finance any development project sanctioned by the Uganda government.
Mbabazi also met executives of China Communications Construction Company that won the US$476m Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway contract already under implementation.
Through its chairman, Li Qitao, the company expressed interest in executing the proposed express highway projects leading into and out of Kampala.
Uganda's delegation included: Sports Minister Charles Bakabulindi, who is also chairman of the National Workers' League, the Chairperson of the National Women's League, Jacqueline Mbabazi ,the Commissioner for Patriotism Clubs in the President's Office, Lt Col. Henry Masiko and Uganda's Ambassador to China, Charles Madibo.