New Vision (Kampala)

18 February 2013

Uganda: Chinese Investments in Uganda Now At Sh1.5 Trillion

Trade and bilateral relations are expected to thrive between China and Uganda following the continued social interactions between Ugandans and Chinese, the chairman Chinese Business Community in Uganda Dr. Yu Bin has said.

The influx of Chinese over the years has led to increased rapid economic and trade growth with Chinese investment to Uganda totaling over USD596m. The current investments ranks Uganda number two, next to United Kingdom in terms of foreign investments.

Yu Bin made the remarks during the Imperial Bank organized Chinese New Year celebrations at Fang Fang hotel on Sunday. The bank that opened its doors to the country about two years ago has over 25 branches in Kenya and three in Kampala.

The acting Chinese ambassador to Uganda Li Qianghua said China would continue to support the infrastructural development of Uganda. "We are impressed with the trade and boosting economic ties between China and Uganda and we are moving forwards boosting the banking sector," he said.

Imperial Bank chairperson Sarah Bagalaaliwo said the influx of foreign investors was a good boost to the banking industry.

The Director of the bank Aly khan Karmali attributed the increase in the number of Chinese investors in the country to the good trade and economic environment in the country.

"The friendship exhibited between Ugandan and Chinese is reason for the over 7,000 Chinese living in Uganda and the boosting trade relations.

"The banking sector is experiencing tremendous growth due to increased flow of foreign investments," he said.

Mandy Mathai Joseph, the managing director said. "We came here because Uganda's growth shown in the small and medium scale sectors is opportunities for viable investments."

Imperial Bank began operations as financial institution in Kenya in 1992 and grown into a commercial bank in 1996 offering a wide range of tailor made services catering for individual needs of the customer. Mukwano Group of Companies emerged as the perfect partner for the joint investment venture in Uganda's banking industry in January 2011.

Mandy expressed optimism saying the boost brought in by Chinese in the areas of trade such as construction, civil works, fiber optics, and a road construction would foster in growth of the commercial banks.

According to the China Enterprises Chamber of Commerce in Uganda, there are 256 Chinese firms operating businesses in Uganda.

Chinese investment in the country is currently worth US$596m creating employment opportunities for more than 28,000 Ugandans. The total amount invested in bilateral trade alone is worth US$400mn.

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