The MEDEF, the largest French business leaders association has organized a multi-sector trade mission of French business leaders aimed at enabling them to prospect a market that offers significant business opportunities and also identify potential local partners for their future activities.
The French Companies that have arrived in Uganda this morning for the trade mission are Airbus Helicopters which manufactures helicopters, Bolloré Transport & Logistics in logistics, BRL Ingénierie dealing in consulting services in water and environmental areas and Cobasa also in investment consulting service.
Others are Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank , which is in Banking and Financial Services, Egis dealing in Engineering infrastructures (transport, water, environment), Eiffage Instructors handling Construction and public work, Laboratoires Servier, a Pharmaceutical industry and Meridiam dealing in investment and Asset management in infrastructures and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs purposely for Economic Diplomacy.
More French companies that have arrived this morning are Omexom Major Projects dealing in production and transmission of electricity, Ponticelli Frère in Construction and Maintenance in Oil&Gas, power, steel and other industries, Ragni SAS that deals in Public lighting and solar street lighting, Société Générale another Banking and Financial services provider and Sogea Satom which is in Construction and public work.
Suez International which deals in Water and waste management, Thalès handling Aeronautic, space, defence & security, Total marketing & services in Supply & marketing of petroleum products and Vinci Concession in Construction and maintenance for infrastructure and public network projects also touched down this morning to explore for trade opportunities.
This mission is holding meetings with Ugandan Ministers (Trade and Industry, Finance, Energy and Minerals, Tourism, Agriculture, foreign affairs, …), officials of public authorities (Ugandan Revenue Authority, Ugandan Investment Authority, National Planning Authority, …) and will visit Phoenix Logistics this afternoon.
Meanwhile, another delegation of at least 22 companies from the United Arab Emirates is set to visit Uganda on Thursday this week for a Trade and Investment Forum to be held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
Ugandan businesses will have the opportunity to interact with the UAE delegation as they seek to form synergies with the Ugandan counterparts on the backdrop of the growing business between the two countries.
Olive Kigongo, the President of the Uganda chamber noted the Uganda – UAE Trade & Investment Forum presents many Ugandan businesses with the opportunity to introduce themselves to the UAE market.
“According to a compilation by Bank of Uganda, exports to the United Arab Emirates reached $528.3 million for the six months between April and September 2019.
“This makes the UAE one of the top destinations for Uganda’s exports; including gold and fresh organic foods.
However, there are many other untapped areas Ugandan businesses can exploit in this $184 billion market,” said Kigongo.
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Industry are organizing the forum to help businesses in the two countries find their product fit and encourage more investment and trade.
“Our hope is that this forum presents the businesses participating in key strategies on how to leverage the untapped market.
“We need to aggressively take advantage of this if we are to provide opportunities for Ugandan and UAE businesses,” said H.E Abdallah Sultan Al Owais.
The highlight of the two-day discussions will be a series of business-to-business (B2B) sessions where locals can interface with members of the delegation to seek synergies in various potential enterprises.
The Uganda government has already proposed plans to construct an agricultural free zone area to process fresh produce exports, targeting mainly the UAE market.
His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, the Chairman Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry said there are plenty of mutual benefits for both the UAE and Uganda.
“The UAE is well-positioned as an international trade hub. The overall goal of the forum is to strengthen economic relations between the two countries, but also showcase in particular what the Emirate of Sharjah can offer and contribute towards increasing trade and establishing promising investment partnerships,” said Al Owais.
Sharjah accounts for nearly one-third of the UAE’s entire manufacturing sector, which alone accounts for almost 16% of the Gulf states GDP.
Some of the UAE companies set to participate in the forum include; Alpha International Household Industries Llc, EMAAR International, Faan Al Ibdaa Perfumes and Cosmetics, Etihad Credit Insurance, Sharjah Expo Center, and ALNAHLA Trading (Speedy) among others.
“In 2018, UAE investors brought in $55 million, making them Uganda’s fourth largest investors after the Chinese, Lebanese and Indians. This forum will provide business people from both sides a platform to discuss ways to diversify investments across a wider field and take advantage of Uganda’s relative political stability and various incentives,” said Kigongo.