Hon. John Mulimba, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/Regional Affairs, has said Uganda’s objectives for participation in Expo 2020 Dubai include promoting trade between Uganda and the greater Middle East market which had a total import bill of US$ 1.889 billion in 2020.
This will initially target; United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia; Turkey; Qatar and; Oman.
The minister was Thursday addressing the media briefing on the Dubai Expo 2020 held at the ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala on 30th September, 2021.
The Dubai Expo 2020 will run from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022 in the United Arab Emirates, twelve (12) months from the scheduled date due to COVID 19 pandemic.
The Republic of Uganda is participating at this Expo on invitation by the organizer – the Government of UAE and the International Bureau of Expositions.
The theme of the Expo 2020 Dubai is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with three (3) sub-themes of “Mobility”, “Opportunity” and “Sustainability.” Uganda is participating under the “Opportunity” sub-theme.
According to minister Mulimba, priority products for promotion during the Expo are the following; Coffee, Black tea, Cocoa, Fish and fish products (Nile perch and tilapia), Fruits (avocado, bananas, mangoes and pineapples); Vegetables and spices including hot pepper (capsicums), ginger and cardamom, Kidney beans, mung beans and sesame, Dairy products, especially milk powder and Processed food products particularly dried fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya, and jack fruit).
He said there is great untapped market potential with product such as coffee whose current market size is US$ 1.1billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 11million; tea with a market size of US$ 1.2billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 220,000; milk powder with a market size of 2.85 billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 374,000.
The Middle East Market is huge, and Uganda stands to gain significantly by effectively promoting the above products during and after the Expo, using Dubai as the distribution hub into the greater Middle East.
“We have profiled all the above products, together with their major exporters, capacity and contact details for dissemination during the Expo.”
ii) Attracting investments into the profiled investment projects. These include:
Fourteen (14) infrastructure projects – including the Rapid Bus Project, Rehabilitation of the Gulu – Pakwach railway and development to Inland ports;
Five (5) mining sector projects – including the Bahati Wolfram project and the Iron and steel processing project;
Five (5) health sector projects – including medical equipment manufacturing and management center and a specialized hospital;
Twenty-one (21) agriculture and agro-processing projects – including establishment of aqua parks, establishment of an instant soluble coffee plant and a modern cattle abattoir;
Five (5) real estate projects – including Construction of Low Cost and Medium Cost Housing Kireka Slum Rejuvenation Project and The Dairy House;
Twelve (12) tourism sector projects – including the Cable Car Project and Source of the Nile Development Project;
Three (3) energy sector projects – including Geothermal Exploration and Development at Buranga Prospect and Kyenjogyera Mini Hydro Power Generation Project;
Five (5) IT and IT Enabled services project;
Five (5) oil and gas projects – including Uganda Oil Refinery and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project;
Two (2) industrialization projects – including the Sino-Uganda Modern Economic Development Special Zone.
iii) Promote Uganda’s tourism (“Destination Uganda”) which has won international recognition as a premium tourist destination. The tourism products to be promoted include
Mountain hiking especially the Rwenzori Mountains,
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE)
iv) Enhance bilateral relations especially with the organizers, the Government of UAE
How is Uganda going to participate in the Expo
With the support of the Government of UAE, Uganda has been offered a 213 sq. meter 2-floor Pavilion in the Opportunity Thematic District.
This is in line with Expo management’s “One Country, One Pavilion” policy.
The Pavilion will have the country exhibition on the ground floor; office and conference facilities on the upper floor.
Uganda National Day 3rd October 2021
This is the day that has been dedicated to promotion of Uganda by the Expo management.
On this day, there will be an official government-to-government ceremony in the morning and additional country promotion programmes in the afternoon.
However, the official ceremony will be restricted to fifty (50) delegates from Uganda and the UAE respectively in compliance with the COVID-19 SOPs.
The additional country promotion programme will include business meetings, road-show (flag procession), cultural performances and food tasting (culinary) experiences.
iii. Tourism, Trade and Investment Forum 5th October 2021
The National Day activities will also include a Tourism, Trade and Investment Forum, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) networking events on the 5th October 2021.
iv. The 6-month Country Marketing Programme at Expo and outside the Expo Grounds in UAE
“In view of optimizing our participation and visibility at the Expo and facilitating consistent engagements between the participating countries and the private sector in Uganda, a detailed six (6) month program has been drawn up,” the minister noted.
This program includes business delegations; thematic weeks (such as the Tourism Week from 4th to 10th October 2021); Single(solo) country exhibitions; Participation in Expo thematic events (such as the Livelihood and Agriculture Week in February 2022); Market scoping activities and working visits to various businesses across Dubai and neighbouring markets.
What are Uganda’s expected Outcomes
1) Linkages between Ugandan exporters and foreign buyers.
Targeted buyers include:
• Direct importers/distributors in UAE (“by-passing middlemen”)
• Supply contracts with major UAE retailers already mentioned
• Specialty coffee importers from emerging markets
• Investors and processors of dairy products (use dairy products as inputs)
• Direct tea importers
2) Establishment of commercial presence in Dubai
• Marketing office at the Dubai Multi Commodity Center
• Ugandan products on shelves in Carrefour, Lulu and Union Coop
• Marketing and distribution agents across the Middle East
3) Potential investors undertake exploratory/scoping visits to Uganda to evaluate identified investment opportunities
4) Increase in tourist bookings for destinations in Uganda.
“I therefore call on all Ugandans with potential in the above-mentioned areas of interest to get in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Uganda Export Promotion Board to discuss how they can benefit from this 6(six) months event in order for Uganda to tap into available opportunities that the Expo 2020 Dubai,” he concluded.