By Patrick Jaramogi
THE Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will not increase the threshold required for foreign investors despite outcries from local business entities, UIA boss disclosed recently.
Currently foreign investors are required to invest in the country if they have a capital worth $100,000 (sh250m).
The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have expressed concerns that the threshold is way below that required by other East African partner states which stands at $500,000.
While responding to the demands, Frank Sebowa, the UIA executive director, noted that increasing the threshold would scare away investors.
“Increasing to $500,000 is not viable because it will increase the cost of doing business,” said Sebowa in a speech read for him by Samali Mukyala, the senior legal investment officer.
Mukyala noted that increasing the threshold would be prohibitive yet the mandate of the authority is to promote investment.
She read the speech at a recent symposium on foreign direct investment for Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.
Mukyala added that UIA is in the process of reducing on the cases of investors spending months chasing operation licences.
“We are going to reduce the time spent to get an investment license to two days by creating a one-stop centre at UIA,” Mukyala said.
“We shall have licensing agencies such as the Citizenship and Immigration Control office and land offices all housed in one place,” she said.
The one stop centre will offer investment services to both local and foreign investors.
However, Rashid Kimbowa, the commissioner economic affairs in the East African Community Affairs ministry notes that the intra-EAC trade still remains low.
Kibowa notes that much as the one-stop centre will ease investment licensing, more efforts should be geared towards boosting intra-trade within the EAC states.
Foreign investment capital remains at $100,000