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THE OBSERVER | Wednesday, October 15 - 16, 2014

business&money

Kigali calls for more


trade with Uganda
education, regarded as the
strongest in the region.
Emmanuel
Katongole,
the executive director for
Cipla Quality Chemicals
Limited, said they were
looking for regional reach
in the next couple of years,
including Rwanda. He
added that they planned to
invest $65m into a second
plant and look at the
continent as a whole.

ALON MWESIGWA

The Rwandan business


community has called for
deeper trade ties between
the Kampala and Kigali.
At the Uganda-Rwanda
business
forum
held
at Kampala Serena last
week, Kigali said that
at the moment, more
Kenyans were getting into
partnerships with their
Rwanda counterparts than
closer neighbours Uganda.
Dennis
Karera,
the
founder and managing
director of the real estate
giant Kigali Heights, said
most Ugandans appeared
withdrawn when it came
to trading in Rwanda.
Kenyans were alert and
receptive, he said.
You people [Ugandans]
have perceptions that Kigali
is hard to deal with. We can
make it, said Karera, while
discussing the days theme
Accelerating regional
trade and investment.
He
said
Ugandans
wanted to do businesses
alone yet it was not
possible.
Going sole means going
smaller and you just cant
make it.
The forum, which was
attended by President
Yoweri Museveni and
Rwandas Paul Kagame,
was intended to deepen
trade relations between
businesspeople from both
countries.
According to Uganda
Revenue
Authority,
Ugandas
exports
to

CHALLENGES

A street in Kigali. The business community there has called for more trade with Uganda
Photo/FILE

Rwanda were worth $245m


last year.
The National Bank of
Rwanda says Rwandas
total exports to Uganda
were $52.5m during the
same year, representing
a slight decline from
$56.1m in 2012. This makes
Rwanda an important
destination for Ugandan
exports, which is slightly
above what Uganda sent
to South Sudan before the
conflict.
Bank of Uganda says
Uganda earned $240m
annually
from
South
Sudan.
This is not the first
time Kigali and Kampala
were trying to tighten
trade relations. Last year,
together with Kenya, they
held a trilateral summit in
Entebbe and agreed that
each country spearhead

different components of
joint projects.
Uganda was assigned
to
lead
the
railway
development and political
federation; Rwanda was to
fast-track the single tourist
visa and East African
Community
e-identity
card. Kenya committed
to the operation of the oil
pipeline from South Sudan,
through Kampala to Kenya,
and electricity generation.
Last
week,
Uganda
launched
the
$8bn
standard gauge railway
(SGR) project, which would
connect from Mombasa
Kenya through Malaba,
Kampala and then Kigali.
When complete in 2018,
the SGR is expected to
reduce the transit cost of
goods between the three
countries.
While bigger projects

get underway, Ugandan


traders
are
yet
to
forge
partnerships
to
take advantage of the
integration, according to
discussions at the forum.
Karera spoke of how
his real estate company,
Kigali
Heights,
grew
into a regional player
after it partnered with
businessmen in Kenya.
Ugandans, he said, did not
show a lot of enthusiasm.
There are still areas where
Ugandans and Rwandans
can do business together.
In the tourism sector, the
two can partner in gorilla
tracking, an attraction for
many tourists in the region.
Uganda can also borrow
a leaf on how Rwanda is
progressing in ICT and
advancing its health sector.
Rwandans can also take
advantage of Ugandas

At the forum, the chief


executive officer of the
BRD Commercial, Konde
Bugingo, said the two
countries lacked local topnotch financial advisors
and there was a shortage of
strong law firms to mediate
in complicated financial
transactions.
But also, according to
Patrick Mweheire, the
executive
director
for
Stanbic bank, the local
banks lacked the capacity
to bridge the financing
gaps through huge loans to
local firms.
President
Museveni
said the two governments
would first work on basics
such as reducing on the
cost of doing business.
We cant only deal
with the price and source
of money without dealing
with the basics market
access, transport cost, and
electricity. Political stability
and peaceful labour is very
important, Museveni said.
amwesigwa@observer.ug

Huge drug firms leave poor traders in the cold


FROM PAGE 25

desperately-needed drugs. For example,


between 1975 and 1997, only 13 out of the
1,223 new drugs introduced globally were
specifically targeted towards diseases affecting
poor countries.
UGANDAS STANCE

Prior to the creation of the TRIPS, countries


retained the right to shape their intellectual
property laws to meet national needs. As a
result, many countries did not grant patents on
pharmaceuticals.
Mulumba said that when the damaging
impact of the TRIPS agreement on public health
became evident, WTO member states signed
the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public
Health, reaffirming the primacy of public
health over trade.
Uganda being a member of WTO is under
obligation to develop rules that comply with
those of WTO. In effect, there has been the
enactment of the Anti-Counterfeit Goods law,

which prohibits the manufacture, trade and


release of fake goods onto the market.
The law is contentious in that it regards
generics as counterfeits, which would mean the
end of importing and manufacturing generic
medicines.
The anti-counterfeit laws are part of a
global agenda to keep developing countries
like Uganda from importing from third parties
where the cost of production is much cheaper.
They are being pushed by Lynda Chalker,
former minister of overseas development, said
Edgar Tabaro, a patent lawyer with Karuhanga
Tabaro and Associates.
Early this year, parliament passed the
Industrial Properties Act, which guarantees
protection for products and processes in all
fields of technology, including medicines.
This is going to enable Ugandan scientists
to be able to produce medicines and vaccines
with patents but government needs to support
them with a conducive environment such
as production incentives like tax holidays

to engage in research and development,


Mulumba said.
Currently, none of Ugandas seven
pharmaceutical plants creates any original
drugs; they only engage in the production of
generics.
Mulumba added that local and international
legislation needs to incorporate flexibilities
such as parallel importation, which would
allow Uganda to import cheaper drugs from
other countries. This would enable local
pharmaceuticals to carry out research of a
medicine that has been put on the market even
before the patent had expired.
The way forward, according to Tabaro, is for
Uganda to develop collaborative research so
that our scientists catch up with those in the
developed world.
ninsiima@observer.ug
This story was supported by the Centre
for Health, Human Rights and Development
(CEHURD) With funding from KIOS.

Egypt
recognized
at trade
show
SAMSON BARANGA

Egypt
was
recognized
for
exhibiting the best
pavilion at the 22nd
Uganda International
Trade Fair (UGITF)
organized by Uganda
Manufacturers
Association
(UMA)
at the UMA show
grounds.
There
were more than 17
companies from Egypt
that
participated
at this years trade
fair, bringing with
them a wide range of
products such as: home
appliances,
cooling
systems,
automobile
spare parts, pasta,
beverages,
candy,
flexible
packaging
products,
wrapping
plastic
sheets,
agricultural products,
mens
suits,
and
clothes, just to mention
a few.
Hussam Farag, the
director of Egyptian
pavilion at the fair,
received the trophy.
According
to
a
statement from the
Egyptian
embassy,
Egypts annual exports
for the period between
January and August
2014 increased by 3.47
per cent.
The
value
of
Egyptian
exports
to Uganda reached
$41,487 in 2012, where
the highest Egyptian
exports to Uganda
were chemicals.
The fair attracted
more
than
1,266
exhibitors
out
of
whom
395
were
foreigners. At least 22
countries took part in
the exhibition in the
fair, which ran under
the theme: Building
Business Partnership for
Sustainable Market and
Competitiveness.
Movit
group
of
companies
was
awarded best exhibitor
2014; Indoba, from
South Africa, scooped
the
best
foreign
exhibitor
award;
while Airtel Uganda
was recognized in the
best Information and
Communication slot.
Ugachick took home
the best livestock and
agriculture trophy.
baranga@observer.ug