India to manufacture in Uganda with its skills, expertise

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

By Amit Shankar Kampala [Uganda], Feb. 22 (ANI): Expressing confidence that bilateral relations between New Delhi and Kampala will keep growing and scale new heights in future, Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari today said both sides have decided to manufacture in Uganda with Indian skill and expertise. Vice President Ansari, who was addressing the India-Uganda Business Forum here, threw light on what transpired between the two sides during his meeting with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. "I came away from that meeting with a reinforced confidence in the desire of the two governments to continue to engage with each other and a send a powerful message to the business communities in both of our countries that here are the business opportunities which have to be availed of," he said. Vice President Ansari said the President was particularly emphatic in pointing out that the Indian manufacturers, in a wide range of areas can benefit very considerably by factoring in the thought that they are not looking at the market in Uganda only, but at much wider market of the Eastern African community and surrounding areas. "So, as the Hon'ble Minster has said, you are looking at the market of 350 million people in East Africa and not simply a market of 28 or 30 million people. And this thought has to sink-in because many of the things which are manufactured and transported here, can just as well they manufactured here with Indian knowledge and expertise for a much wider market in this region," said Vice President Ansari. "This is the message my delegation and I are taking back to the government and the business in India and this is something on which we are going to work together, jointly, for mutual benefit," he added. Vice President Ansari said India's commercial and business ties with Uganda are dynamic and form a key pillar of the bilateral relations. "I am told that every month, more than 70 Ugandan businessmen travel to India to explore business opportunities with India. It is a matter of satisfaction that India is one of the largest trade partners of Uganda but at US$ 615 million, our bilateral trade is yet to reach its true potential," he added. Asserting that Uganda's expanding economy offers opportunities in a variety of sectors, Vice President Ansari said the country is blessed with natural resources, including fertile soil and a strong agrarian base, deposits of minerals, and now even, petroleum that has been discovered. "Recent economic reforms have ushered in rapid growth. We encourage our companies to remain engaged and invested in the opportunities that the Ugandan economy presents," he added. Stating that both Uganda and India have a youthful population, Vice President Ansari said, "Our young people are our greatest resource. But to realise their potential, we need to educate them and give them the skills needed to become productive in our increasingly complex world." He further said the Indian education institutions provide opportunities for quality education at a fraction of the cost of western institutions to an ever increasing number of students from Africa, including from Uganda. "The Government of India also offers several scholarships and fellowships to Ugandan students to enable them pursue a variety of scholastic and vocational programmes and research courses in India. These students will eventually become the bridgeheads for enhancing our commercial and people to people relations in the future," he added. The Vice President pointed out that India and Uganda have similar demographic profiles and disease burden and face similar challenges related to health and well-being of our populations. "India has been a source of affordable pharmaceuticals and specialized healthcare for people of Africa. Several Indian hospitals have developed facilities to serve medical cases referred to them from Africa, including from Uganda. Many of them have also shown interest in setting up integrated healthcare facilities in Uganda, providing high quality medical and nursing services across a wide range of specialties," he added. Vice President Ansari said the Indian community in Uganda is vibrant and holds an important position in Ugandan economy in manufacturing, trade and service sectors. "Indian businesses employ thousands of Ugandans and are among the largest contributors to tax revenue in Uganda," he added. Asserting that India has over the past few years emerged as one of the largest investors and trading partners of Uganda, Vice President Ansari said this has been possible due to the continued and positive support of the Ugandan Government. "I thank the Government of Uganda for welcoming Indian entrepreneurs who have sought business opportunities in Uganda and I request that the Ugandan Government continues with such support and encouragement for our companies seeking business in Uganda," he added. (ANI)