President Museveni Launches $30m Trade Frontier Fund for Exporters to New Markets

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has launched a $30m Trade Frontier Fund (TFF) to help exporters who seek to sell the country’s products in new and virgin markets.

The TFF will mainly help traders dealing in coffee, fruits and vegetables, dairy, beef and tourism.

Uganda is seeking new markets in the Balkan states, with the East African country due to open a trade centre in Belgrade, Serbia to serve the entire region.

The Balkans region contains  Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

While meeting a delegation from Serbia who included Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade Tomislav Momirovic, Milos Adamovic (Assistant Minister), Marco Obradovic (Assistant Minister) and Uganda’s Trade Representative in the Balkans Bratislav Stoiljkovic, President Museveni praised efforts to improve trade with Serbia and the region at large.

“I thank the Serbians for choosing Uganda as a partner to improve trade relations,” Museveni said on April 19.

“I would like to use this opportunity to launch the Trade Frontier Fund which will help exporters to underwrite their invoices and provide them with working capital,” Museveni added as he launched the TFF.

The Presidential Advisor – Special Duties, Odrek Rwabwogo, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACIED), said the TFF is designed for invoice underwriting for exporters to the new markets and will address the financing bottlenecks that have directly been affecting Uganda’s export performance in priority sectors like agriculture and manufacturing.

He said Momirovic had delivered a special message from Museveni’s Serbian counterpart Aleksander Vučić proposing the opening of a Uganda Trade Center in Belgrade in June 2023. Museveni is expected to commission the new trade centre.

According to Rwabwogo, the President also directed that Trade Hubs be set up in New York, London and that content on the top 10,000 tourism sites in Uganda be published to drive exports.

“The coffee and tourism hub works just began in Belgrade after the visit of the Minister of Trade and the Serbian Ambassador to the EAC. What an honour for our country that we got good Trade Representatives in Belgrade. Our additional annual coffee sales target is $300m and $200m from tourism,” he added.

Rwabwogo said: “The Balkans represents a GDP of €100b market, a gateway to central EU and East Asia for our coffee, dried fruits, dairy, grains and teas.”

After meeting Museveni, Momirović also held talks with Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, a number of ministers and private sector players in trade and investment.

“We will continue to develop our trade relations, so that many companies from Serbia can market their products and invest in the territory of this beautiful African country,” Momirović said.

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