The Indian High Commissioner to Uganda Shri Ravi Shankar has advised Ugandans to exploit opportunities available in India for Uganda’s products.
Shri Ravi Shankar noted that Uganda has more comparative advantage to do business with India as compared to other countries in the region because of the favourable environment between the two states.
“In East Africa, Uganda has strong working relationship with India; let Uganda’s business community exploit such opportunities by exporting more products to India where the demand is high due to its population. This will lower the country’s trade deficit,” Shankar said.
The High Commissioner made the call to Ugandans during the awarding ceremony organized by the Indian Business Forum in Uganda which took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel on February 26.The ceremony was recognizing India’s enterprises that are excelling in doing business in Uganda.
Products with ready market
Agro related products especially fresh food and milk were cited among products that will have ready market in India.
Shri Ravi Shankar said Uganda should not only focus on reducing the volume of imports from India but on how Ugandan products can access the non-exploited markets in India.
To ensure that Uganda products have access to the India’s market, the commissioner noted that India has softened the process of applying for Visas to India, especially for the business communities. Among the interventions put in place include applying for India’s Visa on online which he said saves the applicants, time and transport cost.
Trushar Upadhyay, the general secretary of the India Business Forum in Uganda, asked government to create a conducive environment for the private sector to develop.
“Entrepreneurs in India are willing to expand their businesses to Africa, particularly East Africa but the challenge is the cost of doing business in the region being high. Governments need to ensure that the environment is conducive; that is when some countries like Uganda will attract more foreign direct Investment,” he said
The key issues which the Indian business community wants government to work on are related to taxation, poor infrastructures especially in most up country towns and the high cost of power.
The challenges notwithstanding, the Indians business community has played a big role in the growth of Uganda’s economy.