The Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Francis Mwebesa has said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an important milestone for Uganda’s exports.
He noted that it’s the right time for the government to work on domestic products to position itself to fully harness the African market.
While meeting with the European Union (EU) Ambassadors led His Excellency Attilio Paciffici on Friday at the headquarters of Minister for Trade Industry, Mwebesa said it’s high time Uganda embarked on positioning itself as a way increasing its export propensity in the AfCFTA.
He said that harnessing the AfCFTA is largely dependent on strong and efficient public sector institutions, a strong and vibrant private sector and inter-connectedness of Africa on the land, sea and in the air as well as digitally.
“These should be core areas of cooperation between Uganda and the EU for the period of 2021-27. We are positioning ourselves to fully harness this market and any cooperation in this area will be very much welcome,” he said.
In the same spirit, Minister of State for Industry David Bahati revealed to the EU delegation the possible fields where Uganda can cooperate with the EU. Among these include; Import substitution through supporting the manufacturing sector especially small- and large-scale industries, Export promotion through an emphasis on quality and standards, the establishment of storage facilities and investment.
Pacifici welcomed the ideas of the two ministers and said that the EU provides a lot of opportunities for Uganda because there is a huge need for Ugandans products especially vegetables in Europe.
He added that the EU would put more focus on private sector development in its next social cooperation framework with Uganda for purposes of job creation for Ugandans. He however said there was a need for Government to address issues of standards of Uganda’s products to the European markets so that traders do not incur losses.
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