Uganda negotiating with COMESA member states for trade and investment benefits. The government has said that it is exploring new market opportunities with the Common Market for East and Southern Africa-COMESA member states.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Member States came together with the aim of promoting regional integration through trade and the development of natural and human resources for the mutual benefit of all people in the region.
Uganda is currently facing a big challenge with key neighbors like South Sudan following the unrest and the border closure by Rwanda. Some products from Uganda have also been rejected by neighbors like Kenya.
Uganda used to earn 200 million dollars before the closure of the Gatuna Rwanda border.
Amos Lugolobi, the State Minister of Finance in charge of Planning says that they have started negotiating with the COMESA member states to start sending products. He says negotiations are already ongoing with Egypt.
COMESA has 21 countries (583 Million People) including Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zimbabwe.
Lugolobi was speaking on Thursday while meeting MPs on the Parliament’s budget committee on the Charter for Fiscal Responsibility and the Economic and Fiscal Update.
According to Dickson Kateshumbwa, the Sheema Municipality MP, the trade deficit has widened in the country, especially looking at the developments in South Sudan, Rwanda, and other East African countries.
Paul Omara, the Otuke County MP says that South Sudan has been Uganda’s biggest export destination with the export of as much as 65%, but it has fallen to 15%.
Lugolobi says that they are now exploring North African markets like Egypt. He says that they will look at COMESA member states and strengthen ties and also trade with them.
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