UIA urges investors to exploit opportunities in packaging

By David Muwanga

Kampala, UGANDA: The demand for high quality packaging materials and distribution infrastructure for all sectors in Uganda is growing very fast.

“Investment opportunities therefore exist in setting up packaging manufacturing plants, warehousing facilities for hire, distribution facilities and services,” said the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) director for investment promotion and development Sheila Mugyenzi.

“Our research indicates that most of the packaging materials are imported from China and it is against that background that we encouraging Chinese investors to exploit these opportunities instead of importing into the country,” she said.

Ms. Mugyenzi said this at a meeting with a Chinese delegation from the Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

The delegation was in Uganda to explore investment opportunities, the investment climate and government policies among others.

She informed the delegation that investors cannot rightly own land since it is owned by Ugandans.

“However an investor can purchase land on a private basis and a 49 year lease is granted,” she said adding that government is also setting up industrial parks where investors can access land.

She said the priority areas for investment include agriculture where government is more interested in value addition.

“Uganda has got over 50 types of minerals and these are not yet fully exploited, there are large deposits of iron, copper among others,”.

“We have surveyed three quarters of the country except in the north and so far ten sites of Uranium have been discovered,”.

Other ares for investment include tourism where Uganda does not have enough accommodation especially in the national parks.

She pointed out that government is focusing on increasing exports especially in agriculture.

She explained that a wide range of incentives and other forms of government support are provided to the investors.

These include corporate and customs tax exemptions for certain industries, strategic locations and other advantages offered in the free zones.

Rita Mugula, the senior investment executive, investment promotion, added that sixteen private free zones have so far been licensed.

“Government has recognized that Free zones are key drivers to trade, investment and integration of domestic firms into the global value chains, she said adding that it is for this reason that a number of incentives have been put in place for investors.  

She outlined some of the incentives offered to investors in the free zones that include a five year Income Tax Exemption for Free Zone Developer whose investment capital is at least USD 100,000,000 (United States Dollars One Hundred Million) from the date of commencement of business.

Ms Mugula added that they include a five year Income Tax Exemption for Free Zone Operator whose investment capital is at least USD 15,000,000 (United States Dollars Fifteen Million) for Foreigners and USD 5,000,000 (United States Dollars Five Million) for Ugandan Citizens from the date of commencement of business.

Exemption from taxes and duties on all Export Processing Zone imported inputs that are for the exclusive use in the development and production output of the business enterprise (raw materials and spare parts). Unrestricted remittance of profit after tax.

10 year tax holiday for a Developer of Free Zone whose investment capital is at least USD 200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million United States Dollars) for a period of ten years from the date of commencement of construction.

10 year tax holiday for an Operator in a Free Zone whose investment capital is at least USD 30,000,000 (Thirty Million United States Dollars) in the case of a foreigner or USD 10,000,000 (Ten Million United States Dollars) in the case of a Ugandan citizen for five years from the date of commencement of business.

Exemption from tax on income from Agro-processing. 00500f