What started as an exploratory investment and trade mission to Uganda in 2016 has now blossomed into a mutually beneficial cooperation between Uganda and Hunan province in China.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is on a four-day working visit to China, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping, will also be the chief guest at the opening of the first ever China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Hunan Province.

The Expo is a significant milestone highlighting how far and deeper the Uganda-Hunan trade and investment cooperation has developed.

At the Expo, Uganda has been provided not only the largest exhibition area with several manufacturers in Uganda, both domestic and foreign, are having their products on display.

The Expo is also featuring key speeches, headlined by President Museveni’s, as well as presentations, including an important one, to be delivered by Uganda Investment Authority’s Acting Director General Mr. Lawrence Byensi.

In 2016, Uganda Investment Authority hosted a 30-person group of investors from China’s Hunan Province who came to explore potential investment opportunities in Uganda’s electricity distribution, agriculture and tourism sectors.

Hunan is the 9th most developed province in China famously known as the birthplace of Mao Zedong commonly referred to as Chairman Mao, the architect of China’s cultural and industrial revolution.

It’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that is the value of its goods and services in a year, is 500 billion US Dollars, 20 times Uganda’s GDP.

Speaking at the Hunan-Uganda investment conference in Kampala then, the Hunan Principal Director General, Xu Xiang Ping, said Hunan, which is about the size of Uganda, has made a remarkable transformation from a subsistence agriculture-based economy to an industrial one.

Ping said Hunan and Uganda have a lot to share, adding that they are willing to support Uganda’s growth and development by transferring technology and expertise in many areas. Ping said they are interested in making heavy investments in power distribution especially in rural Uganda.
 
Ping added that the investors are also interested in agricultural machinery, considering that Hunan province has expertise in the entire agricultural value chain. Ping said the transfer of agricultural knowledge and skills would be key in boosting agriculture in Uganda.
  
Ping said they are also keen on the possibility of setting up an industrial park, like the one they have already established in Ethiopia. Indeed they have chosen to build a 10-square mile industrial park in Iganga in eastern Uganda. ***