President Museveni, who is on a three-day state visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of his counterpart Mahinda Rajapakasa, has told a business meeting in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka that Uganda needs real investors with money to develop her economic potential.
Addressing the Sri Lanka Export Development Board in Colombo Tuesday, he said "we want people with money. We have enough poor people at home."
The President who is accompanied by his wife Janet Museveni, also minister for Karamoja Affairs, told the meeting that modern business is based on money generating projects in order to benefit both parties adding that, "we want to build our mutual understanding on money. You will make money in Uganda; we shall also make money from your investment if we get real investors."
Museveni was earlier treated to a grand and colourful official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat. His motorcade was led by the country's military police some on motorcycles and horse riders.
The party also included traditional dancers who lined the main road to the venue waving Ugandan and Sri Lankan flags. In addition, children in white dresses were part of the receiving group. The President also inspected a military parade and a 21-gun salute later rang out in honour of Museveni.
At the conclusion of the receiving ceremonies, Museveni met his host with whom he discussed bilateral and regional issues. The two countries also signed a number of protocols covering trade, commercial and technical co-operation, tourism and culture as well as political cooperation.
The President briefed the Sri Lankan business meeting that Uganda commands a big economic potential. He explained that the country needs investors in agro-processing such as maize grain milling at a large scale, mineral exploitation, sugar production and infrastructure development. He told the meeting that Uganda has enough market and conducive environment with constant rainfall.
" In Uganda, investors will access the East African market, the AGOA arrangement to export to the US quota and tax free that also applies to other markets in India, Europe and China. You can easily make money in Uganda because production is at low cost," he pointed out.
He said that fruits and milk can also enable an investor to earn good money because they are not yet fully exploited.
The meeting was organized by Sri Lanka's honorary Consul to Uganda V. Kananathan who assured Sri Lankan investors that Uganda is peaceful and its leadership cares about investors adding that a number of companies had already started businesses here.
The President of Uganda's Chamber of Commerce, Olive Kigongo assured Sri Lankan investors that Ugandans are friendly and can provide skilled labour at reasonable costs.
The President's delegation to Sri Lanka includes Members of Parliament Yorokamu Katwiremu for Sheema South and Kyankwanzi women legislator Anna Maria Nankabirwa. The Ugandan Private Sector is represented by business mogul Habib Kagimu and lawyer Andrew Kasirye.
Source: The Monitor Uganda