Stephen Birungi, the NUTIP chairman, says it is against this background that a few founding businesses came together and formed a well-established business platform
PIC: Stephen Birungi, the NUTIP chairman (L) and Peter van der Woude, Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands embassy. Photo/ Joshua Kato
Unite and then grab the immense business opportunities between Uganda and the Netherlands. This was the message given by Hans Peter van der Woude, Deputy Head of Mission at the Dutch embassy, to both Ugandan and Dutch companies operating in Uganda.
He was speaking during the recent annual general meeting of the Netherlands-Uganda Trade and Investment Platform (NUTIP) a Ugandan association aiming to harness the economic power of cooperation between Dutch and Ugandan Entrepreneurs.
NUTIP was officially launched by the ambassador of Netherlands to Uganda Alphons Hennekens in 2013.
Currently, over 100 companies of Dutch origin operate in Uganda. Stephen Birungi, the NUTIP chairman, says it is against this background that a few founding businesses came together and formed a well-established business platform that actively lobbies and advocates for the interests of these companies.
The Netherlands is ranked as one of the largest economies in the world. As far as agriculture is concerned, it is ranked as the 2nd highest exporter of agriculture produce after the USA.
“We were only three companies when we started. We are now 20 and others are asking to join,” says Birungi. Big Dutch companies that are members of NUTIP include DFCU bank and KLM airlines, who are also two of the sponsors of the National Best Farmers competition organised by Vision Group, SNV, Alfasan, Aloesha and others.
NUTIP is governed by a voluntary board and has the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as its patron. Outgoing ambassador, his Excellency Alphons Hennekens has been its patron.
“The new ambassador will automatically become the patron,” Birungi says.
“We are delighted that this association is helping improve linkages between Uganda and the Netherlands,” said Hans Peter van der Woude, Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands embassy.
He pointed out that the association has recorded tremendous success ever since it was launched and that more is coming. “The sky is the limit with this kind of cooperation. As the embassy, we shall continue supporting the move,” he said.