President Yoweri Museveni has called upon the Government Ministries, Departments and agencies to always work hand in hand with the private sector through continuous consultations in order to identify the challenges and also come up with solutions to the various development issues in the country.
The President made the remarks while opening the Presidential Investor’s Round Table (PIRT V) review meeting at State House Entebbe on Wednesday.
The Presidential Investors’ Round Table is a high level forum chaired by His Excellency the President.
H.E the President poses for a group picture with Members of PIRT during the PIRT V meeting on Wednesday at State House Entebbe.On H.E’s left is PM Rugunda (Photo by PMPU)
This meeting brings together a select group of both foreign and local investors to advise Government on how to improve the investment climate in the country.
The fifth phase of this meeting was launched in August 2015 by the President Museveni at State House Entebbe.
Museveni expressed his gratitude to the work of the investors and the private sector, noting that they have been crucial in exposing the weaknesses in the economy that the government machinery rarely brings out.
“The ministries should consult with the private sector regarding all arising issues and ask how they can be solved and then come back and consult within government,” the President said.
The President called upon investors both local and foreign to embrace the use of locally manufactured goods and services in all their activities to boost the domestic industries and develop the country.
He also said taxes on export services such as tourism should be removed to attract more investors in the country, adding that critical infrastructure especially roads in the tourism circuit is being constructed, maintained or upgraded.
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda urged the Ministries to ensure prompt implementation Of government programmes without any delays to ensure that the country’s progresses towards achieving a middle income status by 2020.
“My office is committed to strengthen and streamline the coordination in Government and also follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Investors Round Table as Government continues to push for economic development and transformation,” the Prime Minister said.
Four thematic areas of Tourism, Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business, Minerals Value Addition and Energy, Oil and Gas were focused on during the meeting.
Objectives, recommendations, challenges and progress made by government in these areas were thoroughly discussed by the thematic area technical working groups and the respective Ministries.
Some of the key issues raised in the tourism thematic area include the need to reduce visa fees, create a tax friendly tax regime in the tourism sector as well as avail and disseminate adequate information to market and promote Uganda as a tourist destination.
In the thematic area of Competitiveness and ease of doing Business, it was noted that there is need to implement e- Government in all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ease delivery of services, and also the promotion of graduate and vocational skills to close the skills gap in the job market.
In the area of Minerals and value addition, some of the issues raised were; the need to establish a mineral certification and traceability system, strengthening of the geological surveys and mines department and adding value to the selected minerals such as iron ore, the 3Ts (Tin, Tungsten and Tantalite), Gold, Aluminous Clays, Vermiculite, Copper, Cobalt and Nickel as well as Phosphates among others to boost the mineral industry.
While in the area of Oil, Gas and Energy, some the issues discussed included fast- tracking the development of the oil refinery and pipeline among others.
The two day Presidential Investors Round Table was organised by the Office of the Prime Minister and Uganda Investment Authority. The next meeting will be held in April 2017.
The meeting was graced by a number of dignitaries, including Ministers, local and foreign investors and other government officials.
By Doreen Nasasira
Friday, 04 November 2016