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L – R: The Executive Director of UMA, Dr. Ezra Muhumuza and the Executive Director of UFZA, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda sign the MoU at UMA offices on 6th July 2023

The Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) and the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) have entered into a strategic partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at fostering collaboration and promoting export-oriented investment and job creation in Uganda. The MoU was signed on 6th July 2023 at the UMA Head Office.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Executive Director of UFZA, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “This partnership marks a significant milestone in our efforts to boost export-oriented investment and job creation in Uganda. By leveraging the strengths of both organizations, we aim to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, develop forward and backward linkages, and contribute to Uganda’s economic growth.”

He further highlighted the importance of the partnership in aiding economic growth. He said, “Free Zones enable Ugandan manufacturers to compete globally due to the tax and non-tax incentives that enhance their competitiveness on price and quality.”

The Executive Director of UMA, Dr. Ezra Rubanda, said that this partnership is well aligned with UMA’s strategic direction to tap into emerging regional demand for Ugandan products. He stated, “This MoU speaks to UMA’s strategic direction that aims to enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturers, facilitating exports and enabling our local industries to thrive in the regional and global market.” He further stated, “Our industrial growth trajectory focuses on decentralization, moving industries from the central business area to rural areas. The establishment of Free Zones in major districts of the country will catalyze inclusive growth across Uganda, ensuring that economic benefits are distributed more widely.”

The collaboration between UFZA and UMA is expected to enhance policy advocacy efforts to support local companies in benefiting from the incentives offered in the Free Zones. Dr. Rubanda expressed the need for a review of the existing law to allow UFZA to expand their threshold of the 80/20 to 50/50, providing greater support to local companies.

The MoU between UFZA and UMA signifies a strong commitment on both sides to promote export-oriented investment, job creation, and inclusive economic growth in Uganda. Through joint efforts, the two organizations will work towards creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, fostering capacity building initiatives, and facilitating market access for Ugandan manufacturers.

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