A contingent of over 250 Ugandan business and government actors travel to Juba, South Sudan for a three-day joint business forum, exhibition and trade fair.
The event which starts from Monday to Wednesday is led by the Ugandan Embassy in Juba and supported by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU).
The official function will start on Tuesday July 19 and Wednesday July 20, 2022. The Beijing Hotel will be the official venue for the forum and the exhibition.
More than 100 companies have registered to participate and exhibit their products at the forum, the first of its kind between the two countries.
Manufactured goods, banking and financial services, ICT, insurance, pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality, construction, education, health services, transport and aviation, professional services, agro-industry, horticultural products, entertainment and film production services, services media, dairy and poultry, fish, confectionery, fortified foods, packaging services, petroleum products, healthcare, cosmetics and beauty care products are among the many services and products to be promoted.
Uganda Airlines organized three flights for this epic three-day event. It is estimated that more than 50 people are traveling by road to Juba.
The conference, whose theme is “Enhancing Bilateral Trade and Investment through Industrialization and Infrastructure Development”, aims to strengthen trade relations and address challenges that hinder these relations.
The private sector is coordinated by PSFU and will be joined by Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FSME ), Uganda Chargers Council, Uganda Public Relations Association (PRAU), National Cultural Forum (NCF), KACITA, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, Hortifresh, ICT Association, Uganda Health Federation (UHF), among others.
The event will bring together representatives from the Ugandan Embassy in South Sudan, the South Sudanese Embassy in Uganda, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the two countries, the Directorate of Citizenship Control and immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Ministry of East African Affairs, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Bureau of Standards, Uganda Export Promotion Council and Uganda Airlines.
Since January, PSFU has facilitated and organized trade and business missions to Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and recently to Kinshasa and Goma in the DRC.
The South Sudan-Uganda Business Forum will be a private sector-focused event that will engage both the public sector and business partners of both countries through information sharing, working sessions, business-to-business interactions, government-enterprise and business exhibition to showcase business enterprises from South Sudan and Uganda.
It will focus on solutions to business challenges and opportunities to boost trade and investment relationships between private and public sector actors.
Both Uganda and South Sudan are members of the main regional organizations of the East African Community (EAC). South Sudan is also one of Uganda’s largest trading partners with trade volumes amounting to over $400 million and this business forum aims to increase trade volumes to 1 billion dollars a year.
Ugandan Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, HE Brig. General Ronnie Balya, during the launch of the Business Forum, hailed the excellent bilateral relations between Uganda and South Sudan.
He appreciated the efforts of the two embassies for initiating the idea and said, “I am confident that working together will not only improve our cordial bilateral relations, but will also significantly improve the livelihoods of our two peoples.”
He also stressed the need for businessmen to discuss challenges and identify opportunities to promote trade and investment in South Sudan and Uganda.
“This is one of the strategic frameworks for the private sector to expand our markets, increase jobs and business opportunities,” said PSFU Chairman, Hon. Elly Karuhanga.
In his address, the Managing Director of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, mentioned that the PSFU is committed to continue with the priority of seeking markets for our businessmen.
“Opening new markets for our business people will create new job opportunities, especially for our unemployed youth, in Uganda. business development support to attend and exhibit at the forum,” Asiimwe said.
He added: “These companies include Farm Uganda, Grain Pulse, Delight Uganda Ltd, Macdough Foods Ltd, Nice House of Plastics and Newman Foods Ltd. The opening of new markets will give them the opportunity to offer more job opportunities to young people. Therefore, we are partners in this forum to ensure that we promote trade in our products and services. »
South Sudan is one of Uganda’s major trading partners within the East African Community (EAC). Uganda’s exports to South Sudan have grown at an annualized rate of 46%, from US$17.3 million in 2012 to US$357 million in 2020. South Sudan exports goods from worth US$850 million and imports goods and services worth US$1.1 billion.
South Sudan’s main imports are motor cars and other motor vehicles; mainly designed for the transport of people (US$78.5 million), Vehicles; for the transport of goods (US$52.3 million), Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included (US$45.9 million), Grain sorghum (US$38.7 million) and Cane or beet sugar and sucrose chemically pure, in solid form (US$35.9m), importing mainly from Uganda (US$357m), Kenya (US$216m), United Arab Emirates (US$192m), China ( $156 million) and the United States ($38.9 million).