Uganda is to benefit in a number of sectors including agriculture and education through improved bilateral relations with the Government of Serbia, in a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
According to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, a meeting with the Serbian Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Maja Gojkovic, and the Serbian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed ways forward of improving cooperation and exchange between the two countries.
“In 1987, there was an arrangement of barter trade between the two countries so it is time to renew that kind of economic cooperation. This will be best realized through a permanent joint commission of Serbia and Uganda to work on outstanding areas,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker made the remarks in a meeting held with Ms. Gojkovic at the National Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia; along with Ugandan MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
In the meeting, Kadaga also reiterated the need to open the European market more to Africa and Uganda in particular, which she said would lead to an increase in Uganda’s exports to the European Union and access to other markets.
“There’s a need to improve economic relations between Serbia and Uganda and identify export commodities to Serbia for example coffee and tea. Uganda airlines is also now functional so we can consider making direct flights to Serbia,” Kadaga added.
Ms. Gojkovic on her part, noted that the history of relations between Serbia and Uganda dated back to 1963 with the establishment of the Non- Aligned Movement that was set up in 1961, hosted by the Parliament of Serbia at the time.
“We want to strengthen these ties, and the Government of Serbia looks forward to hosting President Yoweri Museveni. We would also be grateful for an opportunity for Mr. Museveni to address the Serbia Parliament,” Gojkovic said.
Gojkovic added that the MoU which institutionalised the cooperation between the two countries had established the Uganda-Serbia Parliamentary group of friendship, and needed to further establish cooperation in economics, education, science and technological transfer.
Kadaga committed to notify President Museveni of the standing invitation to make an official visit to Serbia in a bid to further better the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Speaker was accompanied to the meeting by the Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Hon. Hood Katuramu, as well as MPs Hon. Connie Nakayenze Galiwango and Hon. David Abala.