The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) recently hosted a meeting with the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, as well as an official government delegation from Uganda, at the chamber’s headquarters, to discuss a number of economic issues of common concern.
The meeting, which was held in the presence of His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the SCCI, included discussions on means of enhancing bilateral economic relations between the Emirate of Sharjah and Uganda, and the development of cooperation between the two sides, especially in the fields of energy, industry and agriculture and the exchange of visits and investments in various fields.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Majid bin Faisal Al Qasimi, First Deputy Chairman of SCCI, HE Waleed AbdelRahman BuKhatir, Second Vice Chairman of SCCI, a number of Board members, HE Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of SCCI and other senior officials of SCCI. Various directors and heads of the sectoral working groups that adhere to the chamber, as well as senior officials from the business community in Sharjah were also present.
Al Owais stated that the visit came as a result of Sharjah chambers efforts during the previous year to organize visits to a number of African countries, in the framework of the efforts of the Chamber to consolidate its presence in promising African markets, and find ways to increase the volume of trade, economic and investment cooperation between the two sides. Al Owais also stated that the visits that the Chamber has organized to a number of African countries in past years have contributed to strengthening and developing the economic relations of the Emirate with many of the countries of the African continent, which represent promising markets and offer excellent opportunities for Emirati businesspeople.
President Museveni spoke about the advantages of the Ugandan economy and the nature of his country’s foreign trade. He reviewed the most important agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors of his country, such as coffee which is considered one of the most important agricultural crops, and in which the country is the fifth largest producer in the world. The president also mentioned the various mineral resources available in Uganda such as iron, copper, and tin. The president pointed out the importance of investment in several economic sectors such as food, mining, and transport, calling on the UAE business community to take advantage of the investment opportunities available in Uganda.
The Ugandan president stressed that there are a variety of investment opportunities in his country, and that he wants to build long-term relations with the business community in the UAE and Sharjah. He also stated that Uganda is an attractive destination for investors due to the investment incentives offered by the country in terms of security, credit facilities, structural and legal regulations, Strong infrastructure, and strategic geographical location in the heart of the African continent, contributing to the transit of goods into many economic blocs.
HE Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of SCCI, stated that the important meeting with the Ugandan President and his accompanying delegation would establish a new and productive phase of the economic, trade and investment relations between Sharjah and Uganda. He also noted that the visit of the President of Uganda and his accompanying delegation will have a great impact on enhancing cooperation and activating trade exchanges and increasing them by encouraging investment in both countries.
A number of representatives of the business community in Sharjah met with their Ugandan counterparts during the meeting, where they exchanged views and learned about the opportunities available to each of them, in order to enhance cooperation and study the possibility of establishing joint projects that serve the interests of both sides.
At the end of the meeting, Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, the President of Uganda and the visiting delegation, all took part in visiting the permanent exhibition of local manufactured products in Sharjah Chamber. The exhibition provides visitors from different countries with an opportunity to explore and discover a wide range of products, manufactured locally by more than 180 firms exhibited thought 191 stands covering 30 manufacturing sectors, such as food and beverage, electronics, chemicals, construction materials, plumber materials, plastics, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas equipment. The delegation was briefed on the most important services provided by Sharjah Chamber to facilitate the work of the business sector in the Emirate.
It is worth mentioning that, according to the latest statistics, African exports to the UAE grew by 11% over the past five years. The UAE also ranked 19th among countries with the most exports in Africa, with exports accounting for 1.1% of total African exports.