President Ndayishimiye made the remarks after a tour of the new state-of-the-art Picfare Industries plant in Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve, where he was showed products ranging from scholastic materials to apparel.
The Burundian President said he has witnessed first-hand Uganda’s investment environment and seen how hard the investors are working and invited them to consider Burundi as a destination for trade and investment.
Burundi has vast investment opportunities in sectors like agriculture, industry, extractives and tourism, as well as trade.
President Ndayishimiye said Burundi is now a peaceful country with the citizens working hard to develop, adding that Ugandans should take advantage of trade and investment opportunities in the East African Community partner state.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, said there is an urgent need to promote trade and investment between Uganda and Burundi.
Minister Kyambadde said Uganda is starting a new ear with Burundi as a strategic investment and trade partner, adding that it is important that the ever-increasing products made in Uganda get traded in Burundi.
Kyambadde hailed the role the State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite, and Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in shepherding the establishment of 5,700 factories now operational in Uganda.
Minister Anite said there is a need to promote mutual trade and investment between Burundi and Uganda. She said there are many Ugandan products that need to access the Burundian market.
The Chair of the Board of Uganda Investment Authority, Morrison Rwakakamba, said the key issue for investment is peace and security, adding that both Uganda and Burundi are now peaceful and ready for investment.
He disclosed that plans are in advanced stages to build a tarmac road from Kitagati to Burundi in order to improve travel and trade between the two countries.
Rwakakamba said the Investment Code of 2019 categorizes East Africans who invest in Uganda as domestic investors and urged the Burundians to come and invest in Uganda.
The Chairman of Picfare Industries, Mitul Jobanputra, said the company started as a small printing concern but has now grown into a giant involved in large-scale security printing, paper products, apparel, including military fatigues, and medical materials like uniforms and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
Jobanputra said their production is at a high scale and of high quality and that they are capable of supplying the Burundian market adequately.
He said in the next 12 months Picfare Industries will also pivot to the production of maize meal (posho), animal feeds and other grain products.