Business made easy

Business made easy

The country plans to ink $4 billion worth investment deals at the Expo 2020 Dubai



By Shilpa Chandran and Robert Mukiza

Published: Sun 3 Oct 2021, 11:55 AM

During Expo 2020, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) expects to sign investment deals worth $4 billion. This is part of the Authority’s overall strategy to promote and attract investment to Uganda through strengthening partnerships with governments, private sector players and investors from across the world at the Expo 2020.

Indicatively, these deals will be signed with investors interested in mining, renewable energy, agriculture value addition, industrial and business parks, pharmaceuticals, construction, storage terminals, fruit processing/juice, infrastructure projects and commercial farming (fruits and vegetables).

The UIA is currently focusing on promoting 79 bankable projects which span the infrastructure, mining, health, agriculture, real estate, tourism, energy, ICT, industrialisation and oil and gas, which while at different stages of development, are ready for investment.

The uptake of projects such as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, the Uganda Oil Refinery or the establishment of ICT/BPO parks or specialised hospitals are not only expected to increase Uganda’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but create more jobs and ultimately, sustainable wealth and development for the citizens.

Building partnerships

Uganda currently enjoys a strong bilateral trade relationship with the United Arab Emirates - a position the Authority wishes to cement by establishing even closer investment ties with the region. Particular attention is being paid to how Ugandan companies can scale their businesses to the UAE and further markets through the Dubai programme. The fact that participants from over 190 countries are expected to participate in the Expo 2020 is something that the Authority intends to take full advantage of.

The base of operations throughout Expo 2020 will be the Uganda Pavilion in which investors can meet with investment executives to discuss the opportunities that are involved, and how they can effectively set up, and benefit from investing in Uganda.

The ease of doing business in Uganda

Over the six-month period, the UIA intends to issue investment licenses to interested investors right in Dubai. This move stems from the belief that interested investors should not be held back by bureaucratic processes but instead take advantage of the infrastructure provided by the One Stop Centre (OSC) for investors to start, register and operate a business in Uganda.

The OSC, which UIA houses, was deliberately set up to reduce the turn-around time in accessing government business processing services and ultimately, the time and cost of setting up a business in Uganda. As a result of the ever-evolving enterprise at this centre, investors can get licensed within 24 hours - once they provide all the necessary documentation.

The OSC can be accessed physically in Kampala, Uganda, or online (www.ebiz.go.ug).

  

Incentives

Uganda is investor-friendly, and has a supportive tax and non-tax incentives regime. Investors can access 10 year Income Tax Exemption for exporters of finished consumer and capital goods (80 per cent of production) outside domestic market, 10 years Income Tax Exemption for investors in agriculture and commercial farming, 10-year tax holiday on income derived for letting out facilities of Industrial Park, 100 per cent deduction of scientific research expenditure, zero per cent import duty on plant and machinery, 100 per cent tax allowable on training costs and free industrial park land, as well as many other benefits when chosen to invest in Uganda.

Promoting the industrialisation agenda

Uganda is pursuing a broader industrialisation agenda in order to create more jobs, improve import substitution, add value to the products being produced in order to improve on the overall performance of the economy.

The UIA, which has a target to create one million jobs over the next five years, intends to contribute to this agenda through, among others, establishing 25 industrial and business across the country. Investors, both domestic and foreign, who qualify can access free land in any of these government established parks.

  

Linking investors to investment opportunities

The UIA, which is a semi-autonomous government agency operating in partnership with the private sector to drive national economic growth and development through investment will show case Uganda’s investment opportunities, negotiate and sign deals with potential investors to attract FDIs into the priority programmes of the economy i.e. agro-industrialisation, mineral development, tourism, manufacturing, energy and digital transformation; identify joint venture partnership opportunities, and continue to position Uganda as a premier investment destination in Africa.

Investors interested in learning more about these opportunities can do so by visiting the UIA in Dubai, in Uganda, or via www.ugandainvest.go.ug

— Robert Mukiza is the Director General of Uganda Investment Authority


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