The Malaysia Consulate in Uganda and its first consul Habib Kagimu were inaugurated on Tuesday evening in the upscale Kololo, a suburb of Kampala.
The event was witnessed by ministers, diplomats, members of Parliament and prominent business people, who converged at the new consulate offices on Golf Course Road.
Mr Kagimu who was highly commended by speakers, led the hoisting of the flag of Malaysia in Uganda.
In his speech, he undertook to grow the ties of Uganda and Malaysia into a lucrative and mutually beneficial partnership.
Among dignitaries that attended the event were ministers Amelia Kyambadde of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Isaac Musumba of Urban Development, Gen Katumba Wamala of Works as well as Buganda Prince Kasim Nakibinge. Others were former Vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, former presidency minister Dorothy Hyuha among others.
Malaysia was represented by its minister of entrepreneurship development, high commissioner to Kenya and MPs who are attending the Commonwealth Parliament Conference in Munyonyo.
The evening of speech, saw prominent businessman and lawyer Elly Karuhanga applauding Mr Kagimu for building strong ties with Libya under the late Muammar Gadaffi which benefited Uganda a lot. He said he was sure the new consul was going to do the same for Uganda and Malaysia.
“This is a historic moment in the history of Uganda,” he said. “He is going to facilitate relations between our countries.”
Mr Karuhanga said the appointment was ‘timely response to Malaysians living and visiting Uganda.’
Kyambadde, who represented Foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa, said, trade between Uganda and Malaysia stood at USD83.6 million in 2018. She noted a trade deficit against Uganda standing at USD49.7 million.
Ms Kyambadde said Uganda and Malaysia should exploit opportunities to increase trade among the two countries through value addition to Ugandan exports to Malaysia.
Uganda exports cocoa, rubber, coffee, tea, spices to Malaysia, which exports animal and vegetable oils, textiles, fertilisers, machinery, furniture among others, to Uganda.
“I am optimistic the opening of the consulate will bring more Malaysian investors interested in tapping into the opportunities Uganda has to offer,” the Trade minister noted.
Malaysia Ambassador to Kenya who also oversees the Uganda consulate, Mr Loh Seck Tiong, said Uganda can benefit more from Malaysia’s fresh commitment to South-South cooperation. He noted that already, over 600 Ugandan officials had trained in Malaysia while over 245 students were studying in his country.
“We encourage more Ugandan officials to apply for the programmes especially aligned to 2040 agenda.
Mr Loh Seck Tiong said Uganda was Malaysia’s biggest trade destination in eastern Africa and wants to consolidate this position.
It was noted that this year alone, Uganda has done two trade conferences in Malaysia including the Uganda Eco Satellite city business forum and the Perak-Uganda trade gateway commission forum which prove that Malaysia has already opened its doors to Uganda, for business.
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