The President of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( UNCCI), Olive Kigongo has tipped Uganda's business community about markets in Germany.
Kigongo told Uganda's business community to prepar quality products and services that they can present in trade fairs in Germany.
She told the business community that they have to foot their bills to attend the fairs because they were going to look for business opportunity. She said in the fairs Ugandans can find business partners. "A bird that does not fly does not know there are better gardens where to pick seeds," Kigongo said.
This was during a function held at the residence of the German ambassador in Kololo, Kampala. At the function, presentations were made to Uganda's business community on how and why they can participate in trade fairs in Germany.
The German ambassador to Uganda, Dr Peter Blomeyer urged Uganda's community to participate in over 186 trade fairs that take place in Germany every year.
Blomeyer explained that the trade fairs would be a gateway to the international market for Uganda's products and services. "We need to raise interest of German companies to come to Uganda and Uganda companies to go to Germany. This can be done through trade fairs. We have big trade fairs in agriculture, tourism, technology, in all sectors," Blomeyer said.
The ambassador said German products are durable, last a long time; they cost some money but save one from cheap products that need frequent repairs and replacement.
The function was organized with the support of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI).
Ute Maass, head of consular section said the embassy would pay attention to visa applicants seeking to go for trade fairs. Maass explained that people who want to attend trade fairs should get invitation letters that have bar codes from the organisers of the various trade fairs. She asked those who want to attend trade fairs to apply for visas when they have enough time and not wait for the last days.
William Ssekabembe, chief of business DFCU said the bank was willing to support the business persons who want to travel to trade fairs.
Sekabembe said the bank can give letters of credit, a guarantee that the bank will pay for goods and services once they are delivered in good quality. He added that import loans, working capital, leases. Long term loans are also available for customers.
He noted the average lending rate for DFCU was 18%. He said efforts to bring down the lending rates were in place by government reducing on domestic borrowing.
Holger Pfingsten, first secretary German Embassy said Germany is well known for its trade fairs and is hosting many of the biggest fairs in the world like the Hannover Industrial Fair (Hannover Messe), the CeBIT (an IT-fair), the ITB (a tourism fair in Berlin), the Green Week (an agricultural fair in Berlin) and ReTEC (a used machinery trade fair in Augsburg) among many others. "There is literally a specialized trade fair for every sector and subsector. We have seen that only a small number of Ugandan companies travelled to Germany in the past years to visit these trade fairs".
"However, we believe that trade fairs are the most valuable events for companies seeking trade partners, promoting their products and making valuable contacts thus opening an easy access to the world markets. And this goes for small companies as well as big ones," Pfingsten said.