Uganda: Middle East Becomes Largest Market for Uganda's Exports

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Kampala — Middle East has toppled Comesa as Uganda's number one destination for the country's exports for the month ended March, according to a Bank of Uganda report.

The report released last week, indicates that in March, Uganda's export revenue from Middle East grew to Shs990b up from Shs290b in February.

This represented a 70 per cent increase from what the country earned in the region in February.

Most export receipts from Middle East came from United Arab Emirates taking a share of $259m (Shs976b).

According to experts, Uganda's increase in gold and food exports to the Middle East could explain the increase in receipts. .

Mr Elly Twineyo, the Uganda Export Promotion Board executive director, said the trend will persist because of gold exports to the region and the blockade placed on some products from entering the European Union due to failing standards.

"The ministry of agriculture is cleaning up and some people are not allowed to export. We are being careful so that we don't experience a scenario that occurred in 2016 when horticultural exports were banned," Twineyo said.

Uganda, in the period under review, exported goods worth Shs388b up from Shs371b to Comesa and East Africa, indicating a 4 per cent increase.

However, export receipts to Rwanda registered a significant drop of about 81 per cent due to a pending border dispute.

The Central Bank report indicates that Uganda earned Shs9.8b from Rwanda down from Shs54b in February due to the dispute.

In the period under review, Uganda's exports to Kenya fetched Shs99b higher than what the country earned in February and January, which stood Shs73b and Shs67b, respectively.

Trade between Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi remained flat, according to data.

Export earnings from South Sudan registered an increase to Shs153b from Shs138b earned in February.

Overall Uganda's export receipts in March increased to Shs2.2 trillion up from Shs1.1 trillion in February.

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