Uganda has lost $31m (Shs 117bn) in exports as international trade grapples with the effects of Coronavirus.
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde said Uganda’s exports “declined from US$ 383.62 million in January 2020 to US$ 352.91 million in February 2020.”
This implies Uganda lost a cool $31m which will as well lead to reduction in tax revenues.
However, imports have declined from US$ 711.99 million in January 2020 to US$701.34 million in February 2020 and US$ 593.79 million in March 2020.
Observers say this is good for the domestic manufacturing sector.
Currently, Ugandan factories are producing sanitisers and masks – most of which were previously imported.
Kyambadde said essential supplies are coming in, and border agencies remain available to facilitate faster clearance of both exports and imports.
“Similar, domestic production for a number of products such as hand sanitizers, face masks is being stepped up,” she said.
A UNBS team has been constituted to work with NYTIL and National Drug Authority (NDA) to ensure that the safety and quality of the masks being produced meet the technical requirements.
Currently, said Kyambadde, the work for mass production of masks for the population is ongoing at NYTIL while masks for health workers is still under discussion.