19 June 2017

Uganda: French Firms Scout for Trade Deals in Uganda

Photo: The Observer
Part of the delegation visiting Roofings Industries.

At least 30 representatives of a host of French companies were in the country last week to explore for investment opportunities in a number of key sectors.

Under their umbrella organization, Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF), the delegation held a two-day mission to see whether Uganda had lucrative areas for investment.

Momar Nguer, the chairman of Medef's Eastern Africa business council, said their visit was in response to an invitation extended to them by President Museveni during a meeting with French investors in Paris last year.

French firms are known for their pioneering spirit, innovation capabilities and ability to forge partnerships, said Nguer.

Stephanie Rivoal, France's Ambassador to Uganda, said: "Uganda is a promising country on the course of success. IMF expects growth of 6.5 per cent by 2021, thanks to the upcoming exploitation of the oil fields which should push up the economy."

She revealed that thirty four (34) French companies are already established in Uganda in various sectors including oil and gas, infrastructure development, travel, and insurance. French oil major, Total, is arguably the largest global company operating in Uganda today. The company's exploits in the oil and gas sector has become a source of attraction for other French firms.

The firms' representatives also met the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) team, which said Uganda was at the edge of transformation through a number of opportunities.

Patrick Bitature, the chairman of PSFU, said Uganda was more stable and the government is investing heavily in infrastructures that will facilitate the ease of doing of business.

The MEDEF delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Roofings Ltd at Namanve Industrial park. Bitature said government was ready to give special attention to investors who were willing to add value and create jobs.

"I can assure you that PSFU, working with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and other agencies, will get land from our industrial parks throughout the country; electricity is now stable; we are working on the roads and soon the Standard Gauge Railway is coming on

board," Bitature said.

The total value of France-Uganda trade is estimated at $60.71 million.

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