State minister for investment Evelyne Anite
Edward Kayiwa
Journalist @New Vision

Beverage manufacturers have asked the government to regulate the import of none fruit juices which are not only distorting the market but are also unhealthy for consumption. 

Francis Mugabe, the director of Kike tropical fruit in Nakasongola, said none fruit puree should be regulated for the health of consumers, especially because Uganda has abundant fruits from which fruit juice concentrate can be extracted. 

He said, "We have so many mangoes for instance, that are just rotting in Eastern and Northern Uganda, which can be processed for the market.” 

Mugabe also said importation of puree denies many Ugandans the opportunity to be employed since all the production processes happened abroad where Ugandans can’t be easily employed. 

This was during a guided tour of the factory for the state minister for investment, Evelyne Anite, on Friday. 

He said local factories are facing heated competition from imported products, because of the high taxes, and costs producers must deal with to stay in business. 

Anite said local manufacturers are entitled to investment incentives like tax breaks, to encourage them to build their capacity.

 She promised to liaise with her fellow ministers of trade, finance, and health, to find an amicable solution to the problem. 

She said the government has dedicated three years running to 2024, to support local investors, as it looks to build their capacity, especially in the manufacturing sector. 

The move, she said, will augment ongoing import substitution efforts, which seek to heal the current imbalance in Uganda’s balance of trade.  

She said the move is also inspired by a noticeable decline in the foreign direct investment (FDI) trend, which has dropped from around 20% in the 1990s to about 1% today. 

“From the time the Covid pandemic first hit the world, countries resorted to inward policies, convincing their people to invest inside their local economies. It is, therefore, time for Uganda to look inward, and dedicate time and effort for the growth of its own, especially in the industrial sector,” she said. 

She said in the three years, the government will deliberately promote existing incentives for local manufacturers because the majority of potential investors are not aware of what is available. 

She said although local investors are entitled to a ten-year tax break, and free land allocation in the industrial parks, only a handful of Ugandans have visited the government’s trade facilitation agencies to request them. 

Anite urged traders to set up light manufacturing ventures because the government has enough incentives to support them. 

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