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Uganda Moves To Increase Exports To South Sudan To Shs3.8 Trillion

Uganda’s Ambassador to S. Sudan Brig. Gen. Ronnie Balya (R), Foreign Affairs PS Bagiire 2nd R) and South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda Simon Duku (2nd left) during the launch of the Business Forum 2022.

The Government of Uganda is seeking to increase exports to neighbors South Sudan to US$ 1 billion.

Currently, Uganda’s exports to South Sudan stands at between US$ 350 million and US$ 400 million.

However, according to Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire, the move is now to grow exports to US$ 1 billion (UShs3.75 trillion). This is going to be done through approaches such as business forums among others.

Against the above background, Foreign Affairs Ministry Wednesday afternoon officially launched the Uganda-South Sudan Business Forum 2022. The forum will be held in Juba from July 18, 2022 to July 20, 2022 under the theme “Enhancing bilateral trade and investment through industrialization and infrastructure development.”

According to Uganda’s Ambassador to South Sudan, Brig. Gen. Ronnie Balya, the forum will discuss opportunities and challenges between the two countries and that over 300 delegates are expected to participate physically.

Balya says the discussion will enable parties to identify challenges in cross border trade and create awareness about investment and business opportunities in the key sectors such as education, construction, professional services, security, energy and mining, infrastructure and manufacturing among others.

Balya notes that the intention is to have the parties engage, showcase, explore, network, share, learn and identify common business interests and how best to exploit  investment opportunities and overcome bottlenecks to bilateral trade between Uganda and South Sudan.

Figures show that an estimated 900, 000 to 1, 500, 000 Ugandans operate across the border in South Sudan with their businesses valued at about US$ 900 million.

Additionally, at least 1,500 Ugandans are said to work in South Sudan in the construction industry and 1, 200 Ugandan professionals work in the service industry in the non-governmental organizations, ministries and industries. Data also shows that S. Sudan has a robust educational exchange with over 100, 000 students from S. Sudan enrolled in Ugandan schools and universities.

Therefore, South Sudan’s Ambassador to Uganda, Simon Duku Michael, agrees that there are a number of areas of interest for the two countries to explore.

In 2020, Uganda exported goods worth $357M to South Sudan. The main products exported from Uganda to South Sudan were Raw Sugar ($32M), Cereal Flours ($28.1M), and Cement ($27.6M). During the last 8 years the exports of Uganda to South Sudan have increased at an annualized rate of 46%, from $17.3M in 2012 to $357M in 2020.

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