PROFESSOR Gilbert Bukenya is worried over Ugandaâ€™s growing trade imbalance with the Asian countries.
â€œImports from Asia to Uganda were ten times greater than exports from Uganda in 2006,â€ he said on Monday at the opening of the Asia-Africa investment and technology business forum in Kampala.
The forum was attended by business delegations from Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. The VP was represented by ambassador James Baba, the state minister in the office of the Vice-President.
â€œLast year, Uganda registered the highest trade deficit of $1.595m as compared to previous years. Imports from Asia amounted to about $750m, while exports from Uganda to Asia were $75m only,â€ Bukenya said.
â€œLet me single out our trade partnership with Japan last year. Uganda imported products worth $174m, while Japan imported products worth $3.9m,â€ he moaned.
Bukenya said the persistent trade imbalance was due to the fact that Ugandaâ€™s exports were unprocessed agricultural commodities that were vulnerable to weather variations and price fluctuations in the international market.
â€œWhat Uganda wants to see out of this south-south partnership is a shift from the exploitative relationship we had with the West, where Africa supplied the raw materials.â€
Trade imbalances worry Bukenya