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Finance PS Wants UFZA to focus on value change for export products

By Sadique Bamwita, Entebbe

The permanent secretary Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic development has asked management of Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) to focus on value change in order to improve on the quality of export products.

Ramathan Ggoobi, says that for government to achieve export promotion, it has appropriated Shs 50.6 billion to set up a Free Zones export facility at Entebbe International Airport  that would spur export business at a lower cost or prices.

Ggoobi, said government found it crucial to erect a free zone facility so as to increase on the volume of export products on the international market.

“We need to produce for exports and this time round we shall be producing from the gate of our Airport.  Am very grateful for the National Enterprise committee for spearheading the construction of the Free Zones project.

He  added that the Free zones project is in line with the National development plan 111 and that once the facility is complete it will reduce on the cost of business exports.

“This is a true Ugandan project to deliver export products to the rest of the world. The project is 100% Ugandans and tax payers money.” Goobi pointed out.

He also noted that the government is committed to supporting development projects of this nature to ensure the economy recovers from the devastating negative effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our government has the ability to fund development projects and the focus has been put on good budgetary allocation to avoid inadequate funding. There is need for good project management by delivering everything in time and target thus this will reduce poor performance of the economy.”

He underscored the need to promote socio-economic transformation and implored Ugandans to avoid working for their stomachs but rather focus on development projects to earn a living.

“The finance Ministry is working on supporting economic recovery and that’s why we are putting up a budget to support stimulus package. We need to move Ugandans from survival activities to activities where they can earn a living,” Ggoobi noted.

Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Executive Director Uganda Free zones Authority (UFZA), revealed that once the public free zone facility is complete it will promote industrialization, create jobs and generate revenue to the government of Uganda.

“The purpose of this project is to lower price for green business and it would increase export earning and presence of locally processed goods. It would also increase Ugandan products on both Local and International market.”

Kimoomi also revealed that the free zone project would be complete in the next financial year and singled out   lack of a radiation facility one of the biggest challenges that may affect export of perishable products.

The Construction of the public free zone project will promote industrialization and will generate revenue to government estimated at Shs 7.6 billion per year.

It should be noted that the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2014 with the mandate and responsibility for the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of Free Zones. It is a fully operational body corporate under the supervision of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The enactment of the Free Zones Act, 2014 is a positive step towards aligning Uganda’s trade participation with her regional counterparts, and in the global arena. Free Zones are geographic areas where raw materials and goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured for export without being subject to import duties.

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