The first ever Uganda- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Business Forum is expected to boost trade and strengthen bi-lateral relations among the two countries.
Speaking at the launch of the upcoming forum yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters, Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the joint business forum is scheduled to take place on 9th November 2019 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
It will take place under the theme ‘Promoting Bilateral Trade, Investment and Connectivity for Mutual Peace and Prosperity’.
Kutesa said the main objective of this Joint Business Forum is to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries and to share experiences; identify opportunities; create business networks; identify challenges and agree on an appropriate way forward.
Both countries are expected to trade freely and exploit the opportunities that come with over 120 million people between the two countries.
Kutesa noted that the DRC has a huge market and a long border both on land and water, noting that government will hugely support this new paradigm shift.
“This is a paradigm shift for Uganda to have more business forum meetings alongside political meetings. We have concluded on a number of framework policies on deadly Ebola, security, peace, trade and investment,” he said.
DRC is one of the key export markets for Uganda and the total exports for 2018 stood at USD 533m.
Minister of State for Investment Evelyn Anite said that key players like Manufacturers and investors are ready to take up the opportunity.
“The low hanging fruits we have now have access for market. We have learned a lot of lessons from South Sudan experience,” Anite said.
Minister of State for Trade Michael Werikhe said the total trade between the two countries is still very low, noting that the business forum is a launch pad to boost the trade figures.
DRC envoy Jean Pierre Masala said that DRC has a lot of resources-both natural and human and that it is open for business.
The Business Forum is being organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives; Ministry of Finance and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).
It will be presided over by Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museven and his DRC counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi.