On Sunday, 10 November 2019, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni officially opened the first ever Uganda-DRC business forum.
The forum that has attracted businessmen from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda is held under the theme: “Promoting Bilateral Trade, Investment and Connectivity for Mutual Peace and Prosperity.
The business forum currently going on in Kampala seeks to create a permanent framework for cooperation and economic cooperation between the two countries.
According to Museveni, it is important for nations to facilitate trade among themselves because it creates opportunities for citizens in terms of jobs, income and wealth.
“Africa’s trade figures show that we are importing a lot from China, India, Japan and other places. This means we are supporting the prosperity of these countries and jobs for their children yet ours remain unemployed.” Museveni said.
He added: “We need the market of the whole of Africa and avoid taxes at our borders. What we should concentrate on is the quality of goods and services. Internal markets alone are not sufficient to guarantee prosperity.”
Uganda is looking to strengthen trade and investment between the two countries in an environment of peace, security and stability.
DRC is a key and strategic trading partner of Uganda with a huge market of more than 80 million people and presents enormous opportunities.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics as of 18 May 2019, the volume of trade between the two countries for both formal and informal trade was estimated to be 531 million dollars.
Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kuteesa, said that Uganda attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo, adding that the bilateral relations are both fraternal and excellent.
He said Uganda and DRC have concluded a few cooperation frameworks in Health; Peace and Security; Energy and Mineral Development; Socio-economic Infrastructure, Trade and Investment, among others.