5 December 2012

East Africa: Traders Nod Comesa FTA Entry

Kampala — Despite some manufacturers urging that Uganda's entry into the COMESA Free Trade Area will spell doom for their industries, a majority of manufacturers here have welcomed the move.

Those who spoke to East African Business Week in an exclusive interview indicated that Uganda's entry will improve on the quality of goods locally produced however urging the government to improve on the infrastructure.

The manufactures stated that it is okay because it will widen the market for their products as compared to the existing East African Community market.

Mr. Stuart Mwesigwa the Business Development Manager for Roofing Uganda Limited the producer of roofing's iron sheets and galvanizing wires told East African Business Week that the wider market will enable their company to penetrate the whole continent thus improving on their revenues.

"As roofing the market is good because apart from providing wider market for local manufacturers, it will help producers to access cheaper raw materials since intermediary's goods will be entering the country at tax free, "he said.

He added that the COMESA free trade area will also induce Ugandan manufacturers to maintain quality standard for their goods since every country in the COMESA region has got its own standards.

Mwesigwa observed that some producers have been producing substandard goods which have tarnished the image of some goods produced from Uganda.

"Since this market is wider this may compel them to produce goods that meets international standard," he stressed.

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