Amb. Richard Kabonero

The good economic cooperation between Uganda and Tanzania is important in boosting trade and investment opportunities in the East African region, according to a high ranking official.

This comes as the two countries continue to strengthen their bilateral relations to open new possibilities of doing business and expanding their GDP as well as economic performance in the regional bloc.

For instance, the recently signed Uganda – Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) Ministerial Meeting is a fundamental factor in improving the ease of doing business between the two parties. During the second phase of the summit held in Kampala, Uganda both countries finalized matters concerning the energy sector signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the industry.

The JPC is a potential platform for enhancing and consolidating bilateral cooperation frameworks between the two countries. It brings together companies and business people from both Tanzania and Uganda consisting of manufacturers, importers, exporters, clearing agents and transporters to discuss opportunities for trade between the two countries, and identifying challenges to be resolved.

According to Uganda’s Ambassador to Tanzania Richard Kabonero, the signing of critical agreements covering trade, and railways between Uganda and Tanzania increased cross-border trade and reduced the cost of doing business. The gesture should be bait to lure more investors into seizing the opportunities available for business.

Recently Tanzania’s Communications Minister Harrison Mwakyembe praised Uganda’s relations with Tanzania which he said “continue to grow from strength to strength” as evidenced by landmark bilateral trade agreements signed recently. They have experienced healthy trade relations with historical linkages over the years.

President Yoweri Museveni and President John Pombe Magufuli are both steering the economic development of their states by facilitating trading activities. Trade, security, education, agriculture, and energy are the main areas of investments with the potential to escalate their economic outlook in the future.

The Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP), the latest investment in the energy sector is planned to have a capacity of 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The $3.5 billion worth East Africa crude oil project has the potential to increase the flow of foreign direct investments in East Africa which could increase the competitiveness of the regional market.

Both presidents have gone all out to ensure the stability and sustainability of their nations as long they are on the helm. They have emphasized business incentives and better business environments to attract foreign firms and support the local sectors to boost productivity to boost export receipts.

Their commitment is geared at benefiting the East African community as well by bolstering its economic output. The region is a luring investment region to various investors.

Tanzania exported $62.2 million worth of goods to Uganda in 2013 while Uganda shipped $62.6 million worth of goods to Tanzania the same year. Looking at the neighboring state, Kenya’s s total food exports to Ugandarose to a record $15 million while its exports to Tanzania was $424.19 million during 2013, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database.

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