President Yoweri Museveni has said that Uganda plans to open an investment office in Doha, pill Qatar to facilitate prospective investors with information on trade and investment opportunities and promote tourism in Uganda.
The President was yesterday addressing a delegation of 60 members of the Qatar Chamber and Qatar Business association at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in the capital Doha.
The President accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni is in Doha on a 3-day State visit.
“Uganda will open an investment office in Doha. It will also work on the promotion of tourism. It will be part of Uganda’s Embassy in Qatar. There is free entry and exit of investors in our country. Let the Islamic Bank come to Uganda and save investors from the challenge of high interest rates,” he said.
He expressed his pleasure for having his first visit to Qatar and noted that he also went to Saudi Arabia for the first time, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
President Museveni observed that the Arab region is close to Africa yet not much trade is going on between the African continent and the Arab peninsula. He told the business community that the more the business we conduct, the more we shall prosper. He observed that there was need for the Arab region and Africa to work together, adding that Africa was a huge market that is growing.
The President said Uganda has trade agreements with the USA for zero tax rates for a total of 6,000 products, with the European Union for all products except arms and another agreement with China for 440 products.
“We do not want Qatar to grow items but to process them. The areas where we need support and investment are mainly the minerals development. We do not believe in exporting unprocessed minerals. You can invest in another iron ore processing industry since the one operated by the Chinese today produces 300,000 tons of steel per annum,” he said.
Museveni urged the Qatar community to work with Uganda to process the hematite steel that can be used for building infrastructure that includes dams in Uganda. He also encouraged them to engage in agro processing.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Quatar H.H. Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu saluted President Museveni for sparing time to meet the Chamber.
He revealed that there were so many opportunities that could be worked on between the Government of Uganda and that of Qatar. He expressed optimism that Uganda would become a gateway for Qatar investments and that the other countries in the region stand to benefit from the partnership between Uganda and Quatar.
The members of the Chamber pledged to organize a visit to Uganda.