KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday 7 opened eight factories in Jinja and Buikwe districts and commissioned the Magan Patel (MP) Industrial Park run by Indian investor.
These chains of factories include Modern Laminated Ltd producing pulp and paper, Nile Agro Industries Ltd, Auromeera Industries (U) Ltd and others dealing in a variety of products including aluminium, plastics, textiles, batteries, steel and ethanol.
Mr. Museveni said bringing in more investors is another way government is fighting unemployment in the country.
“The factories I commissioned produce a variety of products and will create 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. When the park is fully operational, it will employ up to 12,000 people,” he said.
He added that the formula to job creation is through the private sector.
“As government, we have ensured peace and stability, provided infrastructure like roads and electricity and skilled the human resource.”
Mr. President promised more free land for industrial expansion and tax incentives to the investors saying, “We are not interested in direct tax. If you manufacture products here and employ our people, we can still get money through indirect taxes.”
Ms. Evelyn Anite, the Investment Minister speaking at the same event said this would help reduce Uganda’s trade deficit which currently stands at about $2.9 billion mainly on account of insufficient exports.
According to recent Bank of Uganda figures, trade deficit has widened with imports growing by $829m compared to $138m for exports due to a sharp increase in government and private sector imports.
“All these products are manufactured in Uganda and we are going to see our exports going up and in the process closing the trade deficit,” Ms. Anite said.
“The youth are also getting jobs and our target is to create at least one million jobs per year. This is a presidential directive and Uganda Investment Authority is aware of the task ahead. Cabinet and Parliament already approved incentives for investors both local and foreign because we want to speed up job creation,” Ms Anite added.
Matia Kasaija Minister of Finance and planning said government is ensuring that imports are heavily taxed in order to protect local producers so their products can favourably compete with products from outside countries.