The Uganda and South Africa trade tourism and investment summit officially commences today, Monday February 27, 2023 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
The two-day summit will be held under the theme: Boosting Trade and Investment Relations between South Africa and Uganda. The purpose of the business forum is to increase and diversify the levels of bilateral trade and investment between Uganda and South Africa.
It will comprise of trade and investment presentations, panel discussions, breakaway sessions, a mini exhibition profiling businesses from Uganda and South Africa, business-to-business meetings and a Presidential session. President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Yoweri Museveni will address the forum on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
The business forum backed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Cooperatives, Privatization and Investment is being coordinated by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU). Uganda’s State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite says the summit will present an opportunity for Uganda to increase its export volumes and attract more investors into the country.
“We have chosen to go to South Africa to get investors who are interested in coming to invest in Uganda and also to look for markets for our products. Our investment promotion agenda has expanded just beyond attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but also looking for markets for products,” said Anite at a press conference in Kampala early this month.
Paul Amoru, Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa said the summit will help bridge the trade gap between Uganda and South Africa. Uganda is South Africa’s 15th-largest trading partner on the Continent and the second-largest in East Africa.
Between 2017 and 2021, total trade between the two countries reached a peak of R3 billion, which the two countries agree is well below potential. South Africa’s exports to Uganda increased from R2.18 billion in 2017 to R3.12 billion in 2018.
The value of South Africa’s imports from Uganda increased from R127 million in 2017 to R323 million in 2020. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa had more than 70 companies operating in Uganda. Businesses in the two countries are keen to expand their presence in one another’s markets.