The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has called for partnership and collaboration of East African countries to support regional projects for the development of the Region and the Continent at large.
He said such partnerships are further enhanced with enormous political support and the presence of technology which eases communication and development.
The Premier made the remarks at the closing of the 2-day conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Exim Bank Regional Conclave on India-East Africa at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Tuesday.
Rugunda said the conference availed an opportunity for the world to witness a new era of partnership between India and Uganda which will breed enormous economic growth opportunities in form of investments, trade, knowledge and skills sharing between the two countries.
He said the partnership opportunity will enable Uganda to learn from India, which is more economically developed, adding that there is also need to remove any trade and investment barriers between the two countries such as substandard products, cross boarder barriers and poor data management among others.
“There is need for extra vigilance to ensure that counterfeit products do not antagonize and hinder trade. The Customs officials should also do whatever is possible to ensure that data management is harmonized to enable investments to flourish,” Rugunda said.
The Premier also decried the high level of bureaucracy noting that it hinders fast growth and economic development. He said modern technology should be able to enable countries implement projects within a smaller time frame, adding that delays in project implementation breed poverty in the country and also create unemployment.
Rugunda called upon India to maximize investment opportunities in East Africa in the areas of agro-processing, ICT, Skills development in the health sector and Education.
The Minister of state for Investments, Evelyne Anite commended the Prime Minster, Dr. Ruhakana for always promoting Uganda as the best investment destination.
She observed that over 50 Indian owned companies operate in Uganda and thus tasked them to focus on investing in the Industrial and manufacturing sector of Uganda to enable the economy to transform.
Anite also thanked the India Exim bank for availing a loan of US$153million to Uganda for the development of Namave industrial park.
The Commerce Secretary, Government of India, Rita Teaotia, thanked the government of Uganda for successful organizing the conference.
She noted that India and Uganda need to work together because they are on a similar journey to success and economic development.
“We must combine all available efforts to develop Africa. We need to focus on projects in East Africa to ensure that they move up on the value chain,” Rita said.
She called for high standards of products produced, sharing of information across boarders in a transparent manner and reduction of the time frame spent to complete projects for the development of the region.
Uganda’s High Commissioner to India, Grace Akello said Uganda is committed to its target of becoming a middle income status country by 2020 as evidenced by its infrastructural developments.
She called upon the Government of India to invest in the country especially in the area of Infrastructure development
Some of the resolutions that were reached during the conference include, alignment of the India- East Africa story, addressing investment gaps in the infrastructure sector enhancing peace and stability for development, intensifying collaborative efforts for economic development, closing information and knowledge gaps and enhancing investments in oil, education, agriculture among others.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
BY DOREEN NASASIRA