1 November 2017

Uganda: Stop Attacking Investors, Minister Tells Ugandans

Kampala — State minister for Investment Evelyn Anite has asked Ugandans to support local and foreign investors instead of talking ill about them if Uganda is to attain the middle income status by the year 2020.

"It has been very hard for us (government) to create employment opportunities in the public sector because we cannot think of employment for all Ugandans. I want to sincerely thank our biggest investor Dr Sudir Ruparelia for supporting the private sector with job opportunities in education, insurance, real estate, hospitality, communication and floriculture," she said adding that as government of Uganda, they love and support Dr Sudhir Ruparelia and they will give him all the support.

"We have chosen the path of licensing Rosebud Ltd and Premiere Roses and we are going to give them free zone status. When you write bad things in the media about Sudhir or any other investor, you frustrate them and the children of the thousands of people he employs. The person who deserves your support is that one that is providing a source of food and income to a common Ugandan," Anite said.

She made the remarks during a Free Zone license granting ceremony for flower farms; Rosebud Ltd and Premiere Roses that took place at the Rosebud farm in Namulanda, Entebbe on Friday.

The two farms were officially granted a Free Zone developers licence by Uganda Free Zone Authority last week which means that they will start exporting flowers without paying any taxes.

According to Anite, the government of Uganda's main policy objective of establishing free zone was to promote investment in the manufacturing and processing sector in order to boost Uganda's export and also facilitate economic growth.

Mr Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director Rosebud Ltd and Premiere Roses, said the companies have been facing challenges like the stiff competition from Kenya and Ethiopia who are producing and exporting flowers cheaply since they have easy access to the Indian Ocean.

"The high cost of power affects us a lot. Also, Uganda being a landlocked country, our only means of exporting these flowers has been air transport which is very costly," he said.

Uganda

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