TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Uganda: Experts tell govt to promote exports

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 Published: | Felix Ainebyoona

Source: The Monitor (Uganda)

Trade experts have said government needs to emphasise export trade rather than aid.

Speaking during an Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) training workshop for the private sector and government agencies at Lake View Resort Hotel in Mbarara last week, former Ethics minister Mr Nsaba Buturo, said: "What I see in government is limited appreciation of trade matters yet the emphasis must be on trade not aid.

It is exporting what you have that gives you respect and influence around the world but aid never achieves that."

A member of the trade committee of Parliament, Mr Buturo said Members of Parliament (MPs) do not understand AGOA and its interests which has affected the country's exports negatively. He said this needs to be addressed as the country looks to attain middle income status.

On her part, the senior presidential adviser on AGOA and trade, Ms Suzan Kabonero Muhwezi, said government agencies should not be blaming each other for failure to promote trade but should join efforts to work for Ugandans.

"I am at the end of value chain which starts with production value addition and export. I am the facilitator for people that are planning to export by telling them there is this market you can take advantage of it. Aall I ask is that different government ministries and agencies should work together because there is no one who is going to do it alone because we are interconnected," she said.

She added: "We are moving in the whole country sensitising Ugandans most especially private sector on the opportunities available to export 8,500 products to USA duty free and quota free through AGOA to sub-Saharan Africa where other countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, have taken advantage of yet Ugandans who were the champions of the market are still lagging behind."