KAMPALA - The foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, has called for increased trade between Uganda and the United States.
Kutesa told the US special envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Dr. J. Peter Pham, that trade between Uganda and the United States could be increased through instruments that can facilitate private sector access to investment capital from the US.
During the meeting at minister’s office in Kampala on Thursday, Pham said access to investment capital by the private sector is possible as long as bankable projects are presented and deliverables guaranteed through investment conferences.
The envoy added that the proposed private sector investment conference for the Great Lakes Region scheduled for October 2019 is one of the avenues for the business community to explore trade opportunities.
According to a statement from the ministry, Pham commended the progress in Uganda and the country’s long term participation in promoting regional security and effective control of Ebola.
“He (Pham) highlighted the need to take advantage of the important opportunity to operationalize the new political will in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to work on a regional basis with regards to expanding the window for peace, security, and economic development in the Great Lakes Region,” reads the statement from the ministry .
The envoy also expressed hope that good relations would be maintained between countries in the region.
Kutesa, according to the statement, said Uganda is hopeful about stability in DR Congo which would be helpful in bringing to bear the regional and international efforts towards resolving the security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He stressed Uganda’s commitment to regional integration as a key East African Community policy based on peace and security.
He added that Uganda remains committed to working closely with countries in the region through bilateral and regional frameworks, to address issues of common concern in areas such as trade and security.
Kutesa and Pham, the press release noted, agreed that the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) should be revitalized bearing in mind the strategic review currently underway.
The minister appreciated the United States for the support given to Uganda in the fields of health, education and refugee management. He added that the enhancement of support to Uganda in the aforementioned areas would be highly appreciated.
“Regarding refugee response, he (Kutesa) and Pham agreed that support was critical for both refugees and host communities through Uganda’s settlement policy,” the statement added.