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Kyambadde blames influx of petty traders to liberalization

By Mary Karugaba

Added 13th December 2016 07:46 AM

Kyambadde told MPs that the escalating numbers of non-citizens engaging in trade which marginalizes the small and medium size Ugandan traders is one of the current major challenges both government and business community face.

Kyambadde blames influx of petty traders to liberalization

Kyambadde told MPs that the escalating numbers of non-citizens engaging in trade which marginalizes the small and medium size Ugandan traders is one of the current major challenges both government and business community face.

Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde. Photo by Juliet Kasirye
                       

Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde, has blamed the influx of petty foreign traders currently engaged in retail businesses around the country to the liberalization policies, associated with structural adjustment programme and weak regulatory framework.

"Globally, trade is the most regulated sector with 60% of all the laws and treaties about trade related matters however, we completely opened our doors and windows in implementing liberalization measures and this has exposed us to a multiplicity of challenges," she noted.

Kyambadde told MPs that the escalating numbers of non-citizens engaging in trade which marginalizes the small and medium size Ugandan traders is one of the current major challenges both government and business community face.

"The influx of foreign petty traders in Uganda dealing in retail including hawking in Kampala City and other parts of the country poses a serious threat to business growth and job creation initiatives for our people especially the youth," she said.

Kyambadde was appearing before the committee chaired by Kenneth Lubogo to explain government's action on MPs' ultimatum to close down retail shops of foreigners operating in Kikubo and other parts of the country.

The Committee last week ordered the minister up to close down all foreign traders' shops effective December 6.

In September, the MPs gave foreigners who are in the retail business a three-month ultimatum to either invest in bigger projects or return to their countries.

In July, President Yoweri Museveni directed the Ministry of trade to take action against foreign investors particularly the Chinese and Indians who are engaging in retailing goods in different parts of the country unfairly competing with Ugandans.

However in her statement Kyambadde said the deadline of December 6 was such a short time to carry out the validation exercise and then take action.

She told the MPs that after consultation with a number of government ministries and agencies such as Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Registration Service Bureau, Directorate of Immigration, Police, Ministry of Justice and many others, it was agreed that the validation exercise continue up to December 31.

Kyambadde explained that by December 31, it was expected that the validation exercise for all foreign traders would be complete and most of their trading licenses would have expired.

Later during the meeting the MPs and Kyambadde resolved that no more trade licenses should be issued to foreign retail traders around the country.

Retailers are business firms engaged in offering goods and services directly to consumers. In most cases they are concerned with selling merchandise to customers.

The meeting in an effort to a find a lasting solution to the influx of foreign traders in Uganda dealing in retail business around the country agreed that those traders whose licenses expire at the end of this month should not have them renewed.

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