By Edward Kayiwa
The Russian government has said it is resolute on cultivating trade ties with Uganda, in areas of energy, engineering, geological exploration, construction, banking and finance, tourism and military supply.
While addressing Russian alumni at his office in Kampala, ambassador Radmir Gaynanov described as cordial, relations between the two countries which have existed for over fifty years, and urged Ugandan investors and business men to embrace trade opportunities that are countless in Russia.
“The economic turn over between our two countries exceeds $600m, over four thousand Ugandans have graduated in Russian universities, and our relationship with Uganda is basically cordial," he said.
He said Russia is ready to support the development of Uganda’s petrochemical and agriculture industries, which according to the national development plan will help in propelling Uganda to a middle income state by 2017.
Already, a Russian company RT–Global Resources, is one of the six short listed to construct, develop and operate a multimillion-dollar 60,000 barrels of oil per day refinery in Hoima and also build product storage facilities as well as a 205km product pipeline from Hoima to Kampala to serve Burundi, Rwanda, eastern DRC, northern Tanzania and western Kenya
The chairperson of the Health Services committee in the state duma, Kalashnikov Sergey Vyacheslavovich, who also led a delegation of Russian parliamentarians to Uganda to assess possibilities of furthering trade and investment links, said Russia cannot underscore the significance of investing in Uganda, adding that Russians now have the opportunity to get engaged in developing Uganda’s health sector, infrastructure, tourism, as well as oil, mineral exploration and power and energy sectors.
"Russia was supporting agriculture and infrastructure development in Uganda before the collapse of the Soviet Union. We cannot ignore what we shared and as such, we will now use our experience and expertise, especially in oil to help in the development of a petrochemical industry in Uganda,” he said.
“We are also in the process of relaxing our trade regulations to include incentives for foreign investors and businessmen. I therefore call upon Ugandan investors and traders to embrace this opportunity,” he added.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Eng. Hilary Onek said Uganda’s soils are rich for agricultural production although there is a gap in agro processing, adding that the country needs investors with the right technology to build factories
“Uganda's agricultural potential is enormous; our national economy demonstrates ongoing development and economic growth. We just need people with the right technology to help us build factories and in turn create jobs.
The government of Uganda is therefore open to Public Private Partnerships in manufacturing, agriculture, mining and the energy sector because we also need affordable electricity to drive industrialisation and development,” he said.