By Basma Tharwat and Ahmed Amer
The Egyptian Export Council will set up an exhibition for Egyptian products in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in March 2015.
The move comes as part of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiative to establish a free trade zone between the two countries.
Over 100 Egyptian companies are likely to take part in the exhibition, showcasing their products in the first step toward establishing permanent offices in the free trade zone.
Hisham Elmeleigy, Vice President of the Export Council for Agricultural Crops, told Al-Borsa newspaper that increasing trade between Egypt and Uganda was discussed during a meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ugandan company. , Mukwano Group.
Elmeleigy emphasised the importance of increasing trade exchange between Egypt and Uganda, highlighting Uganda’s potential as a centre for importing Egyptian goods. He added that the exhibition would be limited to showcasing agricultural and irrigation tools and products.
He also said that the March exhibition is an initial step toward setting up a permanent complex or exhibition for Egyptian products in coordination with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
Laila El-Maghraby, Executive Director of the Engineering Export Council, said the volume of exports for engineering industries to Uganda do not exceed 1%. She added that this small percentage could be increased to ten times the current amount with the help of a permanent exhibition in Uganda.
She said that Mukwano Group will work to set up a permanent exhibition in the near future, while also providing sites to store Egyptian products to facilitate the process for exporting companies.
Amro Abdullatif, Executive Director of the Egyptian Exporters Association, told Al-Borsa that “companies and export councils must move toward utilising the region”. He added that if means of protection and state subsidies were provided, exports would increase.
Abdellatif went on to say that the modes of transport available to and from Uganda did not form an obstacle to the success of this initiative.