As government seeks to attract more investors into the country and promote import substitution industries, traders have asked government to put in more efforts to protect existing local industries.
The competitive business environment has put pressure on many businesses forcing some to go into receivership and others to close down. Many Ugandans suffer from unemployment, underemployment and low pay.
Issa Sekitto, spokesman for the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) said they all support industrialization of Uganda. He cautioned that government should do a lot to protect existing factories and industries.
"What is government doing to satisfy manufacturers that are there as they look for more", Sekitto said.
"We need to look at the issue of standards. The Uganda National Bureau of Standards should be strengthened to help locals improve standards of products to boost exports and local production," he said. He added that government's policy should be clear and not changing.
"What is important is the approach that will be used in phasing out local and small Uganda traders that will be affected and what alternatives to provide for them," Sekitto said.
Everest Kayondo, chairman Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) said government has proposed to importers to reduce importation of second goods and manufacture them locally. It is welcome idea. We need to internalize the proposals," Kayondo said.
Sekitto said the proposals were issues of real concern and touch on the issue of value addition. Sekitto said many Ugandan women and men own boutiques and shops selling second hand clothes, shoes and other old items of their livelihood. He suggested that careful consideration has to be made so as not negatively affect them.
The East African Community has proposed that member states should reduce importation of used items such as cars, clothes and manufacture them locally to create jobs especially for the youth in the region.