The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) hosted a Chinese delegation today, November 17, 2023, led by Mr. Xu Lejiang, the Executive Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) to discuss potential areas of cooperation and partnership in the manufacturing sector.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Francis Mwebesa, while giving his remarks, emphasized the importance of forming strategic joint ventures, particularly in sectors like agriculture, technology, and manufacturing. He underscored the potential of combining China’s technological expertise with Uganda’s rich agricultural resources to create innovative solutions. Hon. Mwebesa also advocated for comprehensive skill exchange programs to build a knowledgeable workforce and strengthen cultural ties. He highlighted the crucial role of infrastructure development in transportation and energy to facilitate trade and economic growth. Furthermore, he stressed the need for equitable trade relations and fair-trade agreements to benefit both nations.
Mr. Deo Kayemba, the UMA Chairman, showcased Uganda’s strategic position as a logistics and industrial hub in East Africa, highlighting its membership in various regional trade organizations. He detailed the composition of Uganda’s manufacturing sector, with significant contributions from industries like steel, cement, and sugar. Kayemba also spoke about the country’s burgeoning mining sector, with a focus on developing resources like oil, gold, iron ore, and cobalt. He pointed out Uganda’s agricultural potential, noting that a significant portion of the land remains untapped. Mr. Kayemba further discussed opportunities in Uganda’s energy sector, including hydro, thermal, and solar power, emphasizing the potential for investment in power generation and waste-to-energy projects.
Mr. Xu Lejiang, the Executive Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), lauded the economic relationship between China and Uganda. He mentioned that Uganda is China’s third-biggest trading partner in Africa. Xu highlighted ACFIC’s extensive network, representing a vast array of industries and chambers of commerce. He acknowledged the growth in cooperation between the two nations and pointed to successful Chinese enterprises in Uganda as a testament to the strengthening economic ties. Xu also confirmed the intention of ACFIC and UMA to establish cooperative partnerships to boost trade and investment relations.
Overall, the meeting formed a mutual commitment to deepening economic cooperation, with a focus on leveraging each country’s strengths to foster growth and development in manufacturing, agriculture, and energy sectors.