A group of 25 South African business people were in high spirits ahead of their departure to Kampala, Uganda, to explore trade and investment opportunities in the agro-processing, capital equipment, energy and furniture sectors in the East African country.
This is according to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) who said in a statement on Friday that the delegation will participate in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Kampala from 19-24 May.
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the main objective of the mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and Uganda.
"The mission will also introduce South African exporters to the Ugandan market with the aim of assisting them gain entry into this market, identify trade and investment opportunities, and generate export sales. It will also contribute positively in strengthening bilateral economic relations between South Africa," said Davies.
The mission is being organised and funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country. More than 1 000 companies were assisted through the scheme in the last financial year.
The Director of Basils Business Opportunities, Basil Phupha, was excited about the prospects of exporting his company’s agro-processing equipment to Uganda and the Central African region.
"Our main goal for travelling to Uganda is to find the market for our products that we can export to the country and the region. This is in line with our company’s long-term plan to increase the number of African countries that our products are exported to. Currently, we are exporting to Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho and we are optimistic that we will soon add Uganda on our list as a result of this forthcoming mission," said Phupha.
Managing director of Cubicle Manufacturing Solutions, Susan Hadcroft, was also looking forward to finding an export market in Uganda for her company’s products which included toilet and shower cubicles, lockers and benches for ablution and changing rooms.
"We are excited about the trip to Uganda because we are hoping to meet people in the construction industry, including architects and quantity surveyors, who will recommend my products for procurement in forthcoming commercial building projects such as offices, malls, universities, hospitals, warehouses and gymnasiums," said Hadcroft.
CEO of Bridge of Hope Wines, Rosemary Mosia, said although her company had already been exporting small quantities of wines to Uganda since last year, she was hoping to secure another importer in order to increase her exports.
"We want to take advantage of the increasing consumption and growing demand of the South African wines in Uganda as more people become aware of the good quality and irresistible taste associated with the South African wines. The fact that there are not many complicated rules and regulations relating to imports in Uganda works in our favour. In addition, the Ugandans have realised that it is easier and cheaper for them to get wine from South Africa instead of importing it from Europe, as they have been doing,” added Mosia whose company is already exporting wines to West Africa, Asia and Europe."