Trade between Uganda and Tanzania is not vibrant yet the two countries could gain enormously from exploiting existing opportunities across their borders.
For example there are less than 25 registered Ugandan big businesses in Tanzania compared to over 450 Kenyan big businesses.
Uganda and Tanzania are concluding a business conference at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre.
Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and host Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli are at the facility winding up this two-day conference which started on Thursday.
At the conference, experts, policy makers and business representatives have been exploring new business and investment opportunities in Uganda and Tanzania.
The two neighbouring countries have used this platform to identify concrete interventions and solutions that will promote trade and investment between Uganda and Tanzania.
Also the delegates at this conference have been discussing trade and investment challenges.
Through this conference both sides also sought to learn from sector experts and speakers, as well as the decisions and outcomes of the 3rdUganda-Tanzania Joint Permanent Commission.
For example President Museveni says “Using the standard gauge railway from Dar es Salam to Mwanza and via Lake Victoria to Port Bell, a container will be charged $1,600 compared to the current fee of $4,500.”
Uganda and Tanzania are concerned that their people are not working as hard as required and this is affecting the speed of progress.
“Once people wake up and start working commercially, the volumes will be so big that they will need huge markets in their respective countries, regionally and internationally. This is the third problem we have to deal with,” Museveni told the Business conference.
According to Ugandan President, 68% of Ugandan homesteads are engaged in Subsistence farming. “They are asleep, working for the stomach. Once they wake up, Tanzania will be flooded with Ugandan goods.”
The Ugandan businesses have not penetrated into the Tanzanian market compared to their counterparts in Kenya.
“We welcome Ugandans. This is your home. We need to do business together. We must invest in projects that will create jobs for our people,” Magufuli said.
Magufuli said the conference is a landmark event, I welcome all Ugandan businessmen back home to Tanzania. These meetings are opportunities to address trade challenges between Uganda and Tanzania.
Tanzania’s President Magufuli says it’s time to walk the talk and move quickly to address the challenges in doing business between Uganda and Tanzania.