Uganda to Open Trade Hub in Serbia

L-R State Minister for Trade Ntabazi, Prime Minister Robinah Nabaanja,State minister for Agriculture Fred Kyakulaga and Presidential Advisor on export promotion and Enterprise Development (PACEID) Odrek Rwabwogo at the closing of the trade export representative’s forum at the Office of the Prime Minister Kampala. The Serbian Trade hub is a mastermind of PACEID

Kampala, Uganda HABARI DAILY I Uganda is set to open a new trade hub in the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade, as part of its efforts to strengthen trade partnerships and increase its international trade presence. This move comes as Uganda aims to showcase its abundant agricultural products and unlock numerous trade opportunities for international investors, while also fostering collaborations with Ugandan companies to supply the global market.

The Chairperson of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), Odrek Rwabwogo, announced that the trade hub in Belgrade will be inaugurated next month, marking a significant milestone in addressing Uganda’s international trade imbalance. Already, lucrative agreements worth $550 million have been finalized between Ugandan companies and counterparts in Serbia, the United Kingdom, and Dubai, signifying a revolutionary shift in Uganda’s position within the international trade arena.

Rwabwogo emphasized that Uganda must adopt a more strategic approach to global sales, recognizing that production alone does not guarantee access to markets. To achieve this, Ugandan trade representatives are conducting thorough market research to understand consumer preferences, consumption patterns, and the specific needs of potential buyers. By aligning their products with market demands, Uganda aims to swiftly penetrate international markets and seize opportunities for growth.

Uganda’s urgent need to keep pace with rapidly evolving global economies necessitates a departure from conventional business practices. Rwabwogo stressed that institutions must embrace new strategies to attract the vast markets that could potentially transform the country’s trade landscape. The trade hub in Belgrade will play a crucial role in promoting Ugandan products in source markets while providing valuable information about local manufacturers across various sectors of the economy. This will facilitate partnerships and connections between Ugandan and Serbian companies, fostering mutually beneficial trade relations.

According to Mahmood Hudda, Director of Mairye Estate Flower Firm, global trade dynamics have undergone significant changes over the years. Barriers to entry have shifted from traditional factors such as capital, market access, and infrastructure, to cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. Other obstacles include quality standards, compliance, and food safety, which Uganda must wholeheartedly invest in to compete effectively on the global stage. The trade hub in Serbia, along with others planned in different locations, will accelerate Uganda’s adoption of these technologies and allow for a thorough analysis of market trends. This will enable the country to effectively navigate the shifting challenges of international trade.

James Kanyike, proprietor of KK Foods, shared his success story, revealing that his company secured orders worth $37 million from Serbia, the UK, and Dubai following a recent trip organized by PACEID. Previously concerned about market access, Kanyike now seeks financial support to expand production and ensure a sustainable supply chain.

Nelson Tugume, Chairman of the coffee consortium, highlighted the transformative potential of a single order from Serbia. Just three years ago, Uganda’s total coffee earnings amounted to around $350 million. However, with the new order, the coffee consortium is now contemplating supplying 200,000 bags of coffee valued at $450 million, illustrating the immense growth opportunities available to Ugandan businesses through international trade.

The forthcoming trade hub in Belgrade represents a pivotal milestone for Uganda as it endeavors to enhance its global trade presence. With a strategic focus on market research, technological advancements, and collaborative partnerships, Uganda aims to position itself as a prominent player in the international trade arena, paving the way for sustained economic growth and prosperity.

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