Vietnam, Uganda Strengthening Business Connection

11:10:41 AM | 12/5/2022

Businesses of Vietnam and Uganda had the opportunity to learn, exchange and promote trade and investment ties at the Vietnam-Uganda Business Forum.

The forum was held on the occasion of the official visit to Vietnam by the President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said Uganda experienced a long war that had devastated its economy. In recent years, Uganda has implemented an economic recovery policy toward commercial development, and a developed economy to improve people's lives.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni proposed that the two countries promote trade ties. In particular, Vietnam should facilitate stable food exports at competitive prices, ensuring food security for Uganda. Uganda should facilitate the export of crude oil and raw metals, ensuring energy security for Vietnam. Besides commercial cooperation, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also shared about attracting investment in tourism, agricultural development, electric vehicles and pharmaceuticals.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said that the two countries still have a lot of potential for cooperation. The forum is a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to meet, exchange information, learn more about Uganda and find potential partners.

Mr. Pham Tan Cong, President of VCCI, believed that the visit of the President of Uganda will open up many new cooperation opportunities for the business communities of both sides

Also at the forum, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that Vietnam always paid attention to, and congratulated Uganda's great development achievements in recent years. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasized that Vietnam and Uganda had a good traditional relationship. The two countries were united in the period of the national liberation struggle, and now they continue to cooperate for the development of each country, making common contributions to global development. The two countries have cooperated well at multilateral forums and the Non-Aligned Movement, but trade and investment ties are still very modest and need to be strongly advanced to be commensurate with the political relationship and the desire of leaders and people of the two countries.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Vietnam has experienced fierce wars, rising from a low starting point, but now the scale of the economy is estimated at nearly US$400 billion; trade scale is about US$750 billion and Vietnam belongs to the group of 20 leading economies in terms of international trade.

The Deputy Prime Minister affirmed that Vietnam is determined to further promote the comprehensive relationship with Uganda, especially in the economy. The business community, ministries and branches of the two countries need to join hands in equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, focusing on areas where the parties have advantages, and breakthrough areas. Ministries and sectors should promote the implementation of cooperation documents between the two countries, in order to create maximum favorable conditions for the business communities of both sides to cooperate and do business.

Mr. Pham Tan Cong, President of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), believed that the first visit of the President of Uganda and the business delegation, after the COVID-19 pandemic is basically under control, will open up many new cooperation opportunities for the business communities of both sides.

With the potential for cooperation in trade, services, information technology, and energy, VCCI President Cong believed that along with the attention and determination of the leaders of the two Governments, plus the business community, the cooperation ties between Vietnam and Uganda will be substantially developed.

VCCI President emphasized that VCCI will closely coordinate with ministries, branches, trade and investment promotion agencies, and diplomatic missions of the two countries to support the development and long-term cooperation between the business communities of the two countries. VCCI encouraged Vietnamese businesses to invest in Uganda.

Mr. Bui Trung Nghia, Vice President of VCCI, said that the potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Uganda was huge

Mr. Bui Trung Nghia, Vice President of VCCI, said that the potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Uganda was huge, especially in strategically important areas where the two sides share many benefits. Vietnam's industrial fields which are in need of development such as the processing industry, manufacturing, supporting industries, renewable energy and information technology are areas where Uganda has strengths.

VCCI Vice President Nghia affirmed that there was still much room for cooperation between Vietnam and Uganda. The two sides need to take new "breakthrough" cooperation steps; businesses should continue to enhance information exchange, and seek cooperation opportunities, especially in strong and potential products which are agricultural and aquatic products, especially coffee, construction materials, medical supplies from Vietnam, or some agricultural products and minerals from Uganda. Vietnamese businesses can research investment opportunities in Uganda as the country has a central location and plays an important role in East Africa.

The representative of Uganda's Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasized: "Coming into the Ugandan market, Vietnamese businesses give themselves the opportunity to open the door to the African market - an important common market with a population of more than 1.3 billion."

Given Uganda has strengths in raw materials for production, Vietnamese businesses need to take advantage of investment opportunities in cotton production. In addition are the fields of minerals, agriculture (with dairy products, bananas, beans) and tourism - fields that are attracting many foreign investment projects, and oil and gas to help Vietnam ensure energy security.

The scale of economic cooperation between Vietnam and Uganda is still very modest. Direct trade turnover between the two countries in 2021 reached US$14.3 million, up 39.8% compared to US$10.28 million in 2020. As of 2022, Uganda has three projects in Vietnam with total capital of US$90,000. Vietnam has two projects in Uganda with a total investment of US$35.5 million.

In return, as a country with strengths in agriculture, Vietnam helps Uganda to ensure food security. Currently, Uganda's agricultural production can only supply 30% of domestic demand, so there is a need to import more agricultural products from Vietnam. The presence of Vietnamese agricultural enterprises in Uganda will contribute to the development of the processing and export processing industry.

Huong Ly (Vietnam Business Forum)