TOP
  • Home
  • National
  • Uganda’s business people excited by DRC meeting

Uganda’s business people excited by DRC meeting

By John Odyek

Added 7th November 2019 10:03 AM

Evelyn Anite state minister for finance said Uganda and DRC have been business partners for a long time and the meeting would go a long way to strengthen the long-standing brotherly and sisterly relations between the two neighbours.

Trade117 703x422

Kutesa addressing the media at the ministry of foreign affairs during the launch of the first Uganda and DRC business forum. First left is Anite, Ngalu (Second Left), Mugoya (First Right) and Michael Werikhe state minister for trade (Photo by John Odyek)

Evelyn Anite state minister for finance said Uganda and DRC have been business partners for a long time and the meeting would go a long way to strengthen the long-standing brotherly and sisterly relations between the two neighbours.

The first Uganda-DRC Joint Business Forum has brought excitement among Uganda’s business and political circles.

Evelyn Anite state minister for finance said Uganda and DRC have been business partners for a long time and the meeting would go a long way to strengthen the long-standing brotherly and sisterly relations between the two neighbours.

Anite said this during the launch of the Forum. The forum is scheduled for 9th November at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

At the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi will pay a three-day State Visit to Uganda from 8-10 November 2019. Tshisekedi will take part in the business forum. 

Jules Kalala Ngalu, charge d’affaires at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Uganda said the forum was a long-awaited hope between people of the two countries.

“The business forum will create a permanent framework for cooperation and economic cooperation between the two countries. DRC has nine neighbours including Uganda. DRC shares with Uganda a long border and lakes. Our people share the same culture,” Ngalu said through a French interpreter.

Ngalu added that DRC has many natural and human resources and was open for trade and investment opportunities with Ugandans. He noted that trade and investment opportunities will create lasting peace, social and economic development. He said DRC was committed to strong bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Sam Kutesa minister of foreign affairs said Uganda attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He said there was cooperation in: health, peace and security, energy and mineral development, socio-economic infrastructure, trade and investment

“We have a Joint Permanent Commission which is a vibrant framework of cooperation where both of our countries have held a number of meetings and agreed on a number of areas. We are pleased with the progress made so far in the implementation of our decisions and are determined to implement all decisions because it is in both of our interests to do so,” Kutesa said.

He said during the state visit, Uganda was looking to strengthen trade and investment between the two countries in an environment of peace, security and stability.

He said the DRC is a key and strategic trading partner of Uganda with a huge market of more than 80m people and presents enormous opportunities for our people.

He said DRC is a state party to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will be the world’s largest Free Trade Area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics as of  May 18, 2019, the volume of trade between the two countries for both formal and informal trade was estimated to be $531m.

Kutesa said there is enormous room for growth and development if the two countries work together to put in place deliberate measures to facilitate trade, especially across the borders.

The forum is being held under the theme: “Promoting Bilateral Trade, Investment and Connectivity for Mutual Peace and Prosperity”

About 300 participants are expected to attend the forum. This will include participants from the private sectors from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, policymakers in Government and political leaders, international organizations; and members of the media.

Kutesa said that at the end of the forum they should be able to jointly find common areas of convergence on the eco-system of trade facilitation namely: customs, standards, immigration, power generation and cross border infrastructure and connectivity.

Kutesa emphasised that it was the business people who pay taxes that are used to pay government officials. He said it was in the interest of the government to facilitate smooth trade.

He further said that commercial diplomacy was equally important to public diplomacy.

Ambassador Dr Patrick Mugoya, permanent secretary ministry of foreign affairs they are pushing economic and commercial diplomacy between the two countries to ensure diplomacy addresses the needs of people between the people.

“Sustainable peace is linked to inclusive participation and prosperity, through trade and investment between the two countries,” Mugoya said.

 

 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles