According to the Standard Bank of South Africa’s Africa Trade Index, also known as Stanbic in other countries, Uganda has the best trade-enabling climate among the member nations of East Africa.
The index, which was created between August and September 2022 to provide a comparative view of the factors that facilitate and hinder trade across 10 African markets, shows that Uganda outperformed Tanzania and Kenya, moving up from sixth to fourth thanks to its government’s support for trade activities, improved prospects for import and export growth, and ease of access to credit.
The rankings for Tanzania and Kenya are fifth (equal to the previous study’s position) and seventh, respectively. Due to the sharp fall in loan conditions and the possibilities for import growth, Kenya dropped from its prior placement of fourth place.
According to the ranking, South Africa is ranked first, followed by Ghana and Namibia. 2,554 companies in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and Angola were surveyed for the study.
“Significantly more businesses in Uganda [up from 45 percent to 52 percent] feel that the government is encouraging cross-border trading activities,” the report reads in part, noting that Uganda’s economy, which is measured by trader business confidence, remained generally constant at 54, the same score as the previous assessment, which was carried out between December 2021 and January 2022.
However, respondents pointed out that the government should lower business taxes and facilitate cross-border commerce. “Greater clarity on customs duties payable, simplification of business policies, and reduction in the time required for customs clearance [will] impact trade,” the report further says.
Businesses also suggested that the government streamline business regulations and maintain its aging infrastructure.
The report states, “When compared to data from our first issue. The road infrastructure [has] deteriorated significantly.”
Based on the survey, Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Uganda are the countries that suffer the most from failing ports, airports, telecommunications, water supply interruptions, and trade laws.
“Given today’s uncertain economic challenges, it is unlikely that governments will invest in large-scale infrastructure projects in the near term,” the report said.
Business Inside Africa
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