Uganda has today joined over 190 countries and international organizations to participate in 2020 Dubai Expo with the main target of boosting trade and tourism in the greater Middle East.
The Expo which has started today, 1st October 2021 and will run for 12 months up to 31st March 2022 in the United Arab Emirates is organized under the theme; “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with three (3) sub-themes of “Mobility”, “Opportunity” and “Sustainability.”
Addressing the media in Kampala, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, John Mulimba revealed that Uganda is participating under the “Opportunity” sub-theme.
“Our participation in the Expo is aimed at promoting trade between Uganda and the greater Middle East market which had a total import bill of US$ 1.889 billion in 2020, initially targeting; United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Oman,” Mulimba said.
The Minister said that the priority products for promotion during the Expo are Coffee, Black tea, Cocoa, Fish and fish products (Nile perch and tilapia), Fruits, Vegetables and Spices, Kidney beans, mung beans and sesame, Dairy products, especially milk powder and Processed food products particularly dried fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya, and jack fruit).
“From our analysis, there is great untapped market potential with product such as coffee whose current market size is US$ 1.1billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 11million; tea with a market size of US$ 1.2billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 220,000; milk powder with a market size of 2.85 billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 374,000,” Mulimba noted.
He added that the Expo will help Uganda to attract investments into the profiled investment projects which include infrastructure projects, mining sector projects, health sector projects, Agriculture and agro-processing projects, Real Estate projects, tourism sector, energy sector, Industrialisation projects, IT and IT Enabled services projects as well as Oil and Gas projects.
“The Expo is also aimed at promoting Uganda’s tourism (“Destination Uganda”) which has won international recognition as a premium tourist destination. The tourism products to be promoted include; Gorilla tracking, Bird watching, Mountain hiking especially the Rwenzori Mountains, Home-stay and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE),” Mulimba noted.
The Expo will as well enhance bilateral relations especially with the organizers, the Government of UAE and the government of Uganda.
During the same media engagement, the State Minister for Trade, Harriet Ntabaazi revealed that Uganda has been allocated a Uganda National Day which is on October 3rd, 2021 which is dedicated to promotion of Uganda by the Expo management.
“On this day, there will be an official government-to-government ceremony in the morning and additional country promotion programmes in the afternoon. However, the official ceremony will be restricted to fifty (50) delegates from Uganda and the UAE respectively in compliance with the COVID-19 SOPs,” Ntabaazi said
She added that the day will see President Museveni in attendance and will hold talks with his counterpart of UAE in Abu Dhabi.
The additional country promotion programme will include business meetings, road-show (flag procession), cultural performances and food tasting (culinary) experiences.
The Minister of Information, Chris Baryomunsi noted that Uganda expects to create linkages between Ugandan exporters and foreign buyers, establishment of commercial presence in Dubai, Potential investors undertake exploratory/scoping visits to Uganda to evaluate identified investment opportunities as well as increase in tourist bookings for destinations in Uganda.