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Uganda to hold first-ever business forum with DRC

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 5th November 2019 12:52 PM

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum scheduled to take place on November 9 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum scheduled to take place on November 9 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

 
 
President Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum
 
Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will on Tuesday launch the first Uganda-DRC Joint Business Forum to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
 
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi will preside over the forum scheduled to take place on November 9 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
 
The business forum is organised by the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of trade, industry, and cooperatives, ministry of finance and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).
 
According to an advisory from the foreign affairs ministry, the forum will be held to promote bilateral trade, investment, and connectivity for mutual peace and prosperity.
 
“The objective of the business forum is to share experience, identify opportunities, create business networks and solutions to identify challenges, the ministry said in a statement.
 
It will be the second high-level business forum between Uganda and her regional neighbours, following Uganda-Tanzania Business Forum held in Daresalaam in September.
 
During the two-day forum held at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre, Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Magufuli committed to ending trade barriers.
 
The two principals agreed to step joint investments in infrastructure aimed at boosting regional trade and ease transport along the central corridor.
 
The two countries are finalizing plans for a joint 1,410km oil pipeline project linking Uganda’s Albertine Graben to Tanzania’s Tanga port at the Indian Ocean
 
Several other bilateral projects in energy, aviation, water transport, and telecommunications have been initiated in recent years as the close neighbours seek to grow trade and investment volumes.
 
Uganda-DRC trade
 
DRC is one of Uganda’s largest export markets worth $398m (about sh1.47 trillion) in 2016, among them cement, sugar, rice, beer, wheat flour, biscuits and beauty, and make-up products.
 
Last year, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade, harmonise immigration formalities and ease cross-border trade.
 
Under the MOU, the two countries are to facilitate investment in manufacturing, exchange information and statistics and generally foster cooperation between their private sectors.
 
The two countries also promised to harmonise their visa fees. Currently, Uganda charges $50 while DRC charges $100.
 
Ministers from both sides agreed to undertake joint infrastructure projects along the northern trade corridor, linking the DRC town of Kisangani to Kampala and the Mombasa in Kenya.
 
Ugandan technocrats have also been rooting for the fast-tracking of licenses for Ugandan private aviation operators to fly people and goods between Uganda and Kisangani.
 

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