President Yoweri Museveni has said that the potential for cooperation between China and Uganda is so vast with many investment opportunities in agro-processing, mining and industrialization sectors.
The President made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Chinese Hunan Province Governor Xu Dazhe and his delegation that called on him on Thursday evening at State House, Entebbe.
He informed his guests that Uganda produces a lot of coffee, fruits, cassava and sim-sim and wants to set up industries to process the food products to add value and create job employment opportunities.
“The potential for cooperation between China and Uganda is big. What we want is a reliable market for agro-products. Once we have the demand, we can produce whatever is needed,” he said.
Citing coffee, the President said its production has grown from 2.8 million bags to 5 million bags today with an aim of producing 20 million bags in the near future. He, therefore, urged the Chinese investors to set up factories that make machine tools needed by other factories. “We need to produce machines for different factories here and for the region,” he said.
According to Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) statistics, national coffee production increased by 1.3 million bags in 2017 compared to 2016. Uganda is second largest coffee producer after Ethiopia in Africa.
On mining, the President said that government was in the process of modernizing its mineral laboratory so as to supply the local industries.
“We used to produce copper here during the British times but it was processed only up to 94% and the copper ingots would not be used in our transformers. We would end up exporting copper ingots and importing more processed copper to come back to our factories,” he said.
Governor Dazhe said that like Uganda, Hunan Province is very strong in agriculture and presents many opportunities for cooperation with Uganda in that sector in order to achieve a win-win result for the two countries. State Minister for Planning, David Bahati, of State for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda, Uganda’s Ambassador to China, Crispus Kiyonga, among other officials, attended the meeting.