The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Uganda Embassy in Beijing- China coordinated and participated in the China (Changsha) -Uganda Investment Economic and Trade Promotion Event that was held on 25th April 2023 at the Serena Kampala Hotel.
The main objective of this Conference was to further bolster bilateral cooperation between Uganda and the People’s Republic of China specifically the sister-sister relations of Changsha City and Entebbe City.
The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Zhang Lizhong, said China and Uganda are good friends, good partners and good brothers.
He said in 2022, the economic cooperation between China and Uganda withstood the test of uncertain factors in the post-pandemic era and showed a good momentum of steady progress.
H.E. Zhang Lizhong, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Uganda.
“The bilateral trade volume rose by 6.6% against the trend, reaching 1.14 billion US dollars. China granted zero-tariff treatment for 98% of taxable items to Uganda and will support Uganda in exporting more value-added products into the Chinese market.”
According to Zhang, a new direct flight between Entebbe and China’s Guangzhou is expected to be soon opened for trade facilitation and people-to-people exchange.
“Chinese enterprises remained enthusiastic about investment in Uganda. China’s direct investment in Uganda reached 131 million US dollars in 2022, ranking No.10th among all African countries.”
He said the two sides have made positive progress in investment projects in the fields of transportation, electricity generation and transmission, oil development and industrial parks.
In his remarks, Hon. Okaasai Sidronous Opolot, the Minister of State for Energy, said the conference presents a great opportunity for business enterprises under the Changsha Municipal Bureau of Commerce to partner with Ugandan enterprises under the Private Sector Foundation Uganda.
Hon. Okaasai Sidronius Opolot, Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development
“I encourage Ugandan companies to leverage this opportunity to partner with Chinese companies so as to benefit in terms of technology transfer and financial strength. Chinese companies also have a global reach from which Ugandans can benefit,” he said.
He said the country continues to have a number of investors from China in the energy, mining and petroleum sectors under his Ministry.
“A number of the country’s flagship projects like Karuma Hydropower Dam, Isimba Hydropower Dam, Kingfisher Development Project, Wagagai Gold Mining Project and Osukuru Phosphates and Steel Project are being developed by companies from the People’s Republic of China. This is in addition to mega projects in the construction of Transmission and distribution infrastructure and projects in other sectors of the economy like roads, and air transport, where Chinese companies are playing a leading role. In developing these projects, Ugandan enterprises and employees have been able to participate alongside the Chinese.”
He said Uganda is, therefore, privileged to have China as a creditable development and business partner.
He urged the Uganda Investment Authority and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda to host the next conference in China and further encouraged Ugandan companies to attend the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) which will be held in Changsha, Hunan Province from June 29th to July 2nd, 2023.
According to the minister, in the spirit of making the East African region a hub for petroleum and energy, Uganda will be hosting East Africa’s premier petroleum conference, the 10th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (EAPCE’23) from 9th-11th May 2023.
Kang Zhenlin, the Deputy Mayor of Changsha City Hunan Province, said Hunan province, which is known as “the land of lotus”, is the hometown of Chairman Mao and one of the important inland provinces of “the Belt and Road” Initiative.
Mr. Kang Zhenlin, the Deputy Mayor of Changsha City Hunan Province, China
“Integrating into the construction of “the Belt and Road” initiative and expanding China-Africa economy and trade, Hunan and Uganda have a good cooperation foundation and great potential for further cooperation. Hunan mainly imports Ugandan products like leather and minerals,” he said, adding:
“We believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade cooperation between China and Uganda will become closer. We will bear more fruitful cooperation, especially in energy development, infrastructure construction, industrial synergy and resource complementation.”
He said in June 2019 and September 2021, the first and second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo have been successfully held in Changsha, Hunan Province, and the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo has become an important channel to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between China and African countries, and an important platform for China and Africa to deepen cooperation in a comprehensive manner.
“In June this year, the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will be held in Changsha, Hunan Province, on the theme of “Common Development for a Shared Future”. During the expo, it will focus on the achievements of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, countries of honour, theme provinces, central enterprises and local provinces and municipalities, high-quality African products and Chinese products, production capacity and services for Africa, arrange to hold about 30 events in 6 categories, including signature events, high-end forums, high-end seminars, matchmaking and negotiations, and other supporting activities, and release the China-Africa Economic and Trade Relations Report again.”
The promotion conference focused on showcasing Uganda’s Investment opportunities in the areas of agriculture value addition; mineral development and promotion of the 3rd China Africa Economic and Trade Expo scheduled for June this year.
The Government of Uganda was represented by Hon. Frank Tumwebaze Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Okaasai Sidronius Opolot, Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development, Amb, Elly Kamahunge Kafeero, Ag. Director Regional and Economic Affairs as well as other Government Officials from different MDAs.
Over 60 companies from Uganda and China participated in the event.
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