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Museveni pledges closer bilateral ties with Iran

By Martin Kitubi and agencies

Added 19th September 2020 03:01 PM

Museveni urged the Iranians to establish manufacturing plants in Uganda, like the Chinese have done at Kapeeka.

Museveni pledges closer bilateral ties with Iran

President Museveni (right) meeting Mortazavi (left) in the presence of foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa (centre) at State House, Entebbe, Wednesday. PPU photo

Museveni urged the Iranians to establish manufacturing plants in Uganda, like the Chinese have done at Kapeeka.

BILATERAL TIES|UGANDA|IRAN

President Yoweri Museveni has assured the outgoing Iranian envoy that Uganda will continue to co-operate with Iran in a number of sectors.

The President made the remarks yesterday, during a meeting with Ambassador Seyed Morteza Mortazavi, who had paid a courtesy call on him at State House, Entebbe. The envoy has ended his three-year tour of duty in Uganda.

Museveni emphasised that the two countries have enjoyed mutual relations since 1986 and, therefore, continue to cooperate.

He said he had made several visits to Iran, an indication that the two countries enjoy a good working relationship.

In addition, Museveni urged the Iranians to establish manufacturing plants in Uganda, like the Chinese have done at Kapeeka.

This, Museveni said, will promote businesses focused on availability of markets.

Museveni assured the ambassador of future cooperation and wished him well in his next assignment.

Museveni added that Uganda has enormous investment opportunities, which can be exploited by Iranian investors.

Ambassador Mortazavi, who was accompanied by Akbar Khorrami, the economic attaché at the Embassy of Iran, appreciated the President and the Government of Uganda for the good working relationship and support rendered to him while in Uganda.

Mortazavi also commended Museveni for his continued role in maintaining peace, security, stability and prosperity of Uganda.

The ambassador informed the President that during his tenure, he focused on strengthening relations between the two countries by encouraging both political and business delegations from Iran to visit Uganda.

He noted that the two countries have many potential areas of cooperation in the areas of energy, oil, machinery, electricity, agriculture, military, defence and science, which need to be sufficiently harnessed.

Three years of service

Under the term of the outgoing envoy, both Uganda and Iran forged closer ties and signed a number of trade agreements.

For instance, in 2017, the Iranian ambassador signed an agreement with the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to attract Iranian investors to Uganda.

The agreement allows Iranian venture capitalists to set up banks, join the mining, transport and agriculture sectors.

In the mining sector, the agreement allows Iranian investors to venture in sand and quarry mining and soft minerals needed for glass production.

In agriculture, the pact encouraged Iranian investors to seek opportunities in value addition and set up a wheat flour processing factory at the Soroti Industrial Park.

The establishment of glass and glassware factories by the Iranian investors would reduce the importation of glass products from the UK, Kenya and China. With several unemployed youth, it had been targeted that the industries set up by the Iranian investors would create an estimated 20,000 jobs.

Trade flow between Iran and Uganda

For over 10 years, Uganda has mainly exported agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, and oil seeds, industrial and medicinal plants to Iran.

In addition, Uganda has also exported other commodities, such as stationery and textiles, all these generating $4m revenue annually.

On the other hand, Uganda imports from Iran, sugar and sugar confectionery, pharmaceuticals, plastics, carpets and textile floor coverings, knitted fabrics, ceramic products, glass and glassware products, among others.

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