But this achievement is still overshadowed by the high value imports recorded in 2017 which stood at Shs20.8 trillion, Dorothy Nakaweesi writes.
Much as Uganda recorded a 14 per cent increase in the value of its exports in 2017 compared to the previous year, a lot needs to be done especially on the supply chain constraints.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) records as of November last year show that the country exported goods and services (both formal and informal) worth Shs11.5 trillion, up from Shs9.8 trillion registered the previous year.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region took the lion’s share of Uganda’s exports worth Shs4.5 trillion.
The BoU records showed that the European Union and the Middle East imported goods worth Shs1.8 trillion each from Uganda.
However, this achievement is still overshadowed by the high value imports recorded in 2017 which stood at Shs20.8 trillion.
As highlighted in National Development Plan 11 (NDPII), government of Uganda is committed to increase exports to 16.9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product by 2020.
This will be achieved through interventions addressing both the supply and demand constraints and engaging the private sector to continue to invest in the exports sector.
In order to address these hurdles of coordinating the intervention and efforts by the various players, Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) is dedicating this whole week to promote exports.
Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB), Mr Elly Twineyo, the executive director of Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) in an interview with Prosper Magazine about this performance said: “We want to create awareness for the need to increase our exports. The private sector is making efforts but the interest rates, production costs which are high are making it hard for them to continue doing a great job.”
The main objective of the Annual Export week is to bring together different players to develop solutions to growing exports in line with government’s objectives.
This year, the Export Week will highlight some of the key government programmes aimed at developing export production, productivity and compliance.
Under the theme “Exporting – growth opportunities for local industries”, this event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 key players of the export sector.
The other event within the Export Week scheduled to take place January 15 - 19 will be a brainstorming export conference, the second of its kind, which will focus on “Export Development – Addressing supply side constraints of exports”.
Ms Brenda Opus, UEPB marketing executive said: “It will be held on Wednesday 17th January 2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel.
Agricultural exports. Uganda mostly exports agricultural products which contribute about 80 per cent of her total exports.
These exports include; coffee which is the leading export in the market, fish and products, maize, tobacco, tea, hides and skins, cocoa beans, other livestock/dairy, sim sim, flowers, beans, and cotton.