Uganda’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde has asked exporters to join hands with the government as it fights a big Non-Tariff Barrier called Corruption.
Kyambadde, who was officiating at the 4th Annual Exporters Conference at the Skyz Protea Hotel Naguru in Kampala said without fighting corruption, the environment in which exporters operate will be difficult.
“We need to work together and fight together NTBs like corruption in the sector,” said Kyambadde.
The Minister also asked exporters to focus as well on the exportation of services like legal services, accountancy, ICT etc and be able to document how much Uganda earns from service exports.
“Don’t only focus on the exportation of goods and different products. Focus as well on trade in services. If service exports are factored in, in our national exports database, we would be high up,” said Kyambadde.
The 4th Annual Exporters Conference focused on unlocking Uganda’s Export potential.
“We need to formalize our trade. Many businesses are operating informally. When we formalize, the government will be able to collect taxes and hence the development of other infrastructures,” said Kyambadde.
She said she is advocating for the return of Cooperative Bank to allow exporters to get affordable credit.
“We need to put pressure on financial institutions for affordable credit as we also advocate for the return of Cooperative Bank,” said Kyambadde.
Micheal Owino the Chairman Uganda Fruits, Vegetables Exporters and Processors Association said they currently face a challenge of lack of enough cold rooms and trucks to store and transport their exports, fake, poor quality and over reused seeds and, as well as counterfeit pesticides.
Majority of the exporters also lack export certificates, poor quality packaging and absence of standard packhouses which compromises quality.
“We also have challenges regarding high flight/freight costs, inadequate export incentives, poor handling at exit, entry and while in transit for our goods and absence of binding contracts that result in little or no pay after delivery,” said Owino.
BY PAUL TENTENA