Free Zones to promote Private Sector investment

The Executive director Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) Mr Hez Kimoomi Alinda has said creation of public free zones will help promote investment by the private sector which will lead to increase in the country’s exports both in quantity and value.

“Free zones operate to promote exports through creating a necessary environment that allows government to provide incentives to allow business to compete favorably on the regional and global market” he said.

Mr kimoomi made the remarks during a business forum meeting with private sector players in Kampala.

Mr Kimoomi said there is need to put in place incentives that can help producers to compete in both price and quality though lowering the costs of doing business for exporter.

“When you look at Uganda, it’s a small market in the grand scheme of things, the East African market is larger at about USD 200 billion but when you look at the global market its in trillions of dollars, so we need to enable our business people to have that linkage farmers to consumers” he said.

The UFZA manager business development and investor support Ms Rebecca Nalumu Wamono said Uganda currently has 24 developed private free zones with three, already operational and one public free zone under construction at Entebbe international Airport with five other free zones planned for construction across the country.

Ms Nalumu said exportation through the free zone will increase private sector investment in the country’s economy which is about 324 billion dollars with a job creation of over 8,611 jobs.

“Cumulative export stood at 275 million by the end of financial year 2019/20, in term as of projections in the next five years, we want to attract about USD 1 billion. We want to ensure in the next five years we contribute 10 percent to the national export earnings, right now we stand at about six percent” she said.

“The first half of this financial year exports stood at USD 725 million with the current driver of export value being mineral refinery of gold and export which has contributed to increasing our export value” she added.

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