Coca Cola Beverages Africa has commissioned a US$ 10 million Rwenzori Pure Natural Water production line at Namanve Industrial park in Mukono District.
The new production plant was commissioned by the minister of Trade Industries and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde who commended the beverage company for supporting government’s industrialization initiative which she said is key in creating employment opportunities for Ugandans.
“Investing US$10 million in our economy is very significant towards fighting the problem of unemployment in the country. Government is committed to supporting all investors willing to invest their resources in our country Uganda. Investing in a new manufacturing line creates more jobs for very many categories of Ugandans which fulfils the government pledge to create more jobs and wealth especially for the youth of Uganda,” the minister said on Tuesday during the commissioning of the facility whose construction commenced in 2018.
Ms Kyambadde said that Uganda is among the countries in the region with a conducive atmosphere for the private sector because government has tried to improve the business environment through investing more resources in the development of infrastructures such as roads, energy sector and ICT.
“The cost of Doing Business in Uganda has improved because of Improved Infrastructures in place. Years ago, the cost of Doing Business was very expensive due to high cost of power, poor road network but all these have been worked on by the government,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Managing Director Van Niekerk said their investing of US$10million is strong demonstration of Coca Cola Beverages Africa Uganda`s commitment to the development of Uganda despite the tough economic conditions.
He advised government to review the tax policies especially on Exercise duty which he said frustrates investors willing to invest in the country.
“It is important to note that this investment was made on a promise to reduce excise duty from 13% to 12% in the 2018/19 FY and gradual decrease per year until 10%. We are grateful that this happened last year. Unfortunately, the reduction from 12% to 11% in 2019/ 2020 FY has been rejected by Parliament. Honourable Minister, this investment is a confirmation that a favourable tax regime can attract more investment for the industry,” he said.
The new Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water line investment is part of a US$15 million investment plan that Coca-Cola Beverages Africa had for Uganda in 2018.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO