By Billy Rwothungeyo
Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde, has cautioned foreigners to desist from petty trading in Uganda.
“Our laws forbid foreigners from engaging in petty trade though there are a number of foreigners, who come as investors or tourists, but end up doing petty trade. This is illegal and should be stopped,” Kyambadde said.
To be categorised as a foreign petty trader, one must have a business whose capital is below $100,000 (about sh254m).
Speaking at a meeting with the Indian community in Kampala on Monday, Kyambadde said the Government is moving to weed out foreign petty traders.
“We are currently in advanced stages of amending the trade licensing act with a view to streamline the trade licensing process and provide deterrent measures for breach thereof,” she said.
Local governments and urban authorities have already been instructed not to grant trading licenses to non-citizens unless they present a certificate from the trade ministry.
Kyambadde further said there is a correlation between petty trading and the infiltration of substandard goods on the local market.
“Some of you who are involved in petty trade deal in subs-standard products, which is rather unfortunate and is not sustainable.”
The minister also urged the Indian community to transform from being traders to investors. The majority of the Indian population is traders.
The Indian community expressed dissatisfaction with the immigration department as regards to obtaining residency.