Key business players and stakeholders from both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo have gathered in Kampala for a two days meet of the 7th session of joint permanent commission.
The meet is an effective platform for enhancing and consolidating existing bilateral cooperation framework between the two countries.
The session held at Speke Resort Munyonyo comes at a time when Uganda and DRC have stepped up cooperation in a number of areas.
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the key bilateral issues for consideration during this session will touch areas of peace, security, stability and prosperity.
It is said that officials shall discuss promotion of cross border trade through custom to custom cooperation, elimination of non-tariff barriers, harmonization of trade and regulatory standards in the development of SMEs and sharing information.
It is noted that the total volume of trade between Uganda and DRC is approximately 438 million dollars taking into consideration of informal trade too.
It is also understood that most of the trade between the two countries is in manufactured goods such as cement, steel, garments, plastics, beef, fish and agricultural commodities.
“While DRC is one of Uganda’s trading partners, the volume and value of trade can and should be enhanced with the view to having a positive and lasting impact on the livelihoods of our people,” states the ministry.
The joint permanent commission will provide an opportunity to strengthen existing areas of cooperation and explore new areas of engagement with the view to enhance social economic transformation of the region.
In the session, the ministerial session will be preceded by a senior official meeting and business forum on Friday.
The business forum will bring together members of the private sector who include manufacturers, transporters, clearing agents, importers and exporters.
Foreign affairs ministry adds that in attendance will be the policy makers from relevant government departments and agencies.
It is said that the objective of the forum will be to provide platform to the business community to discuss opportunities for trade between the two countries.
They will also share experiences, identify challenges that need to be resolved and provide recommendations on how to strengthen trade between the two countries.