The Minister of Trade, Industry and cooperatives (MTIC), Amelia Kyambadde, on Wednesday launched Shs2 billion Uganda Trade Information Portal, an electronic platform providing ready information on export, import and transit procedures that Ugandan businessmen need to know as they trade with others in the region.
The portal is run by MTIC and the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), in partnership with Trademark East Africa, USAID, International Trade Center (ITC) and the Government of Uganda.
“The development of this portal is premised on the Trade Facilitation Agreement which came into force on February 22, 2017 where two or three world trade organisation members ratified the agreement, Uganda inclusive,” Kyambadde said as she launched the service at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The minister said, “Competitiveness of nations in today’s emerging digital global trade will be defined by development and application of innovative digital platform, which enhances movement of goods across borders, particularly applications that improves on transparency, Efficiency and simplification of procedures, documentation, charges and fees relating to exportation, importation and transit of goods among Member States.”
She reiterated government’s commitment in improving the doing of business environment, promoting trade and investment which are critical in promoting socio economic transformation in the country.
“We appreciate the positive measures government is putting in place, we must also note that a lot of work still remains to be done to improve the business environment,” she said.
Uganda has reduced the time for export documentary compliance and border compliance by allowing for electronic document submission and processing of certificates of origin and by further developing the Malaba One-Stop Border Post in 2018.
The country has also made improvements as regards trading across borders, reducing time needed to export and import by implementing the Single Customs Territory, as well as developing the Single Window a platform that lets traders, clearing and forwarding firms to submit and process trade documents electronically, thus saving time.