Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa and the State Minister in charge of International Affairs Henry Okello Oryem have today met with the Serbian State Secretary, Nemanja Steavnovic at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kampala, and the trio discussed about trade and investment between the two countries.
During the talks Minister Kutesa noted that Uganda and Serbia formally established diplomatic relations in 1987, a period when the former was promoting the barter trade policy through the Produce Marketing Board (PMB).
At that time, Minister Kutesa said, Uganda and Serbia agreed to the barter trade policy, culminating into the repair of the Mityana-Mubende road and the rehabilitation of the former Apollo Hotel (Kampala Sheraton) among others.
On his part Mr. Steavnovic intimated that his country had a deep interest in working with Uganda to build investor confidence, promote trade and investment; enhance the development of investment projects and, technical cooperation and capacity building in the Defense sector.
Mr Steavnovic hinted particularly at the application of ICT in agriculture, adding that a Serbian company, NOVISAD, is already cooperating with National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to transform Uganda’s agricultural sector.
Victoria group, another Serbian private investment group is ready to cooperate in crop production and processing, he added. The company works with over 400 cooperatives and provides farmers with tested, high quality and high yielding seeds (only Non- GMO), Fertilizers, pesticides and financial support. Victoria group also deals in oil seed processing, technical analysis and testing of oil seed especially sunflower.
The two Ministers agreed on a joint visit to Serbia of Ministers of Agriculture, Defence and Energy to follow up on further areas of cooperation in those respective sectors.
On his part Minister Okello Oryem pointed out that Serbia, which is a renowned consumer of coffee at 31,000 tonnes a year, would find a reliable supply of quality coffee from Uganda.
He encouraged the State Secretary to interest Coffee businesses in Serbia to trade in Ugandan Coffee.
On the Oil industry, Minister Okello Oryem explained that a new area of production of petroleum by-products would also be worthwhile for Serbia to explore.
Mr Steavnovic will be in Uganda for two days during which time he is also expected to have a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni.