Uganda and South Korean have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at unlocking investment opportunities in the two countries.
By Raymond Baguma
The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) and South Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at unlocking investment opportunities in the two countries.
The South Korean delegation included business executives from reputable Korean international companies in construction, electronics, energy, IT, general engineering and beauty care products.
This was during the business forum organized to mark the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Korea-Uganda diplomatic ties, promoting investment and trade with Uganda and South Sudan.
Lee Dong-Geun, the head of the delegation and KCCI executive vice chairman said that the signed MoU would facilitate cooperation and facilitate commercial exchanges between the two countries.
The state minister for investment, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra, said that South Korea is presently supporting the agriculture, health and education in Uganda. Amongst the South Korean-supported projects is a fruit processing factory being set up in Soroti, a vocation institute in Ntinda, as well as a farmer’s leadership training centre in Kampiringisa Mpigi district.
Ajedra said that Uganda is an ideal investment destination because it is located in the heart of Africa and is a gateway to countries such as South Sudan, DR Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Central African Republic.
The minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, said that over the years, bilateral trade has been growing steadily between Uganda and South Korea. Uganda exported goods worth US$84 million in 2011, up from US$6 million in 2010. Also, South Korea exported goods worth US$154 million in 2011, up from US$81 million in 2010.
Olive Kigongo, the president of the UNCCI said that the environment for businesses to thrive in Uganda is conducive, with opportunities existing in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and energy.
The South Korean ambassador to Uganda Park Jong-Dae said that even if Korea provides development assistance to Uganda, the bilateral ties between the two countries remain incomplete without trade and investment.
“I believe that economic exchanges, the promotion of trade and investment is what brings about positive changes and makes a fundamental, wholesome and sustainable partnership between countries,” said ambassador Park.
He added that Uganda participated in the Yeosu Expo in Seoul last year; and since then Korean businessmen are increasingly showing interest in Ugandan coffee.
Uganda, South Korea sign pact