Sharjah Chamber of Commerce to stage trade and investment forum in Kampala
The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry UNCCI, is set to host a one day Uganda – UAE Trade and Investment Forum that will bring together businesses from the United Arab Emirates and Uganda.
UNCCI says atleast 22 companies from the United Arab Emirates have confirmed participation in the two-day event that starts on November 28 at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Uganda UNCCI are organizing the forum to help businesses in the two countries find their product fit and encourage more investment and trade.
“Our hope is that this forum presents the businesses participating key strategies on how to leverage the untapped market. We need to aggressively take advantage of this if we are to provide opportunities for Ugandan and UAE businesses,’ says His Excellency Abdallah Sultan Alowais, the Chairman Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Ms Olive Kigongo, the UNCCI President says the forum presents Ugandan businesses an opportunity to interact and explore possible synergies with their counterparts from the UAE. She adds that the forum will also be an opportunity for Ugandan businesses to introduce themselves to the UAE market.
Citing Bank of Uganda statistics, Kogongo said, Uganda’s exports to the United Arab Emirates reached $528.3 million in the six months to September 2019.
“This makes the UAE one of the top destinations for Uganda’s exports; including gold and fresh organic foods. However, there are many other untapped areas Ugandan businesses can exploit in this $184 billion market, she says.
The highlight of the two-day discussions will be a series of business-to-business sessions where locals can interface with members of the delegation to seek synergies in various potential enterprises. The Uganda government has already proposed plans to construct an agricultural free zone area to process fresh produce exports, targeting mainly the UAE market.
“The UAE is well-positioned as an international trade hub. The overall goal of the forum is to strengthen economic relations between the two countries, but also showcase in particular what the Emirate of Sharjah can offer and contribute towards increasing trade and establishing promising investment partnerships,” Alowais said.
Sharjah accounts for nearly one-third of the UAE’s entire manufacturing sector, which alone accounts for almost 16pc of the Gulf states GDP. Some of the UAE companies set to participate in the forum include; Alpha International Household Industries Llc, EMAAR International, Faan Al Ibdaa Perfumes and Cosmetics, Etihad Credit Insurance, Sharjah Expo Center, and ALNAHLA Trading (Speedy) among others.
Investors from the UAE accounted for USD55 million of inward FDI, making them Uganda’s fourth largest investors after the Chinese, Lebanese and Indians. This forum will provide business people from both sides a platform to discuss ways to diversify investments across a wider field and take advantage of Uganda’s relative political stability and various incentives.