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Manufactures and exporters in Uganda are predicting harder times ahead as China continues to battle the Coronavirus outbreak, which has largely affected economies around the world
Some manufacturers in Uganda are already counting losses and risk losing big contracts after failing to secure raw materials from China
Kikabi Frederick William, the CEO of FootSteps Furniture says they ordered materials from China in December but have up to now never received them
“We have been getting most of our raw materials from China at a favourable price. Our businesses are on the standstill. We are told the wait may go up to May. That is almost a half year loss,” Kikabi said.
He added that his company had secured big contracts from government and big organisations but now risk losing the contracts because they have failed to deliver.
“The other alternative would be Japan or Dubai but some of these suppliers also get some of the needed raw materials from China so they are also stuck. We have now resorted to get products from Malaysia but they are expensive. In the long run, we will be forced to increase the prices of our products but that means profitability will go down. Some Ugandans are not willing to pay the price,” he said
This was during the Manufacturers forum organised by Standard Chartered Bank at Mistil Hotel on Tuesday.
The Forum held under the theme “Practices for sustainable Growth intended to provide a platform for market players to share insights, best practices and address challenges facing businesses today.
Eve Wankiju, the African Strategist at Standard Chartered Bank said that because China is the largest supplier of raw Materials and import products, there will be serious spill over effects in economies that have been highly dependent on Chinese products.
She added that although Uganda’s Economy is on a steady growth, events like the upcoming elections next year, Corona Virus, Locust invasion will do shake ups and so businesses should be prepared for harder times
“The elections will definitely increase spending and monetary supply but there will be a decrease in investments and inflation will go high,” she said.