Manufacturers under their umbrella body of Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) have asked Government to retaliate to member countries which have failed to fulfill all obligations of East Africa Community (EAC) common market
Among the countries pointed out is Kenya which the manufacturers say has continued to block Ugandan goods despite a number of negotiations held between the leaders of Uganda and Kenya
Mr. Daniel Birungi, the Executive Director UMA revealed Kenyan authorities have on several occasions come up with weak and lame excuses to defend sabotaging trade with Uganda.
Questioning the Origin of Uganda’s products even those with valid certificates of origin, baseless claims that products from Uganda are counterfeit notwithstanding such products bearing Q mark issued by Uganda National Bureau of Standards and Claims that goods from Uganda are smuggled into Kenya hence evading taxes, he said are some of the excuses.
He added that the Kenyan Government has also instituted permits that water down the very essence of the EAC Common Market.
Uganda’s exports to Kenya had been increasing exponentially and in 2017 Uganda managed to report for the first ever trade surplus with Kenya.
“Since then, the Republic of Kenya has intensified Non-Tariff Barriers with fears of possible takeover of the trade balance of power. Such acts contradict the EAC Common Market commitments,” the UMA boss said.
As such, the manufacturers have asked Government to come up with stringent measures before Christmas against all partner states that breach the EAC Common protocol through blocking Ugandan originating goods from entering their market.
According to statistics from Uganda Export Promotion Board, the total exports Uganda sent to Kenya in 2017 were worth $ 159 million, in 2018, 164 million, in 2019 $ 190 million while this year it is projected at 73 million