Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds MP, today spoke in the opening session of the UK/Uganda Business Forum at Lancaster House, organised by the Commonwealth Business Council.
Prosperity is one of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s priorities. This forum will support our efforts to build the UK’s reputation internationally and create opportunities for British business to strengthen the UK economy.
The aim of the forum is to attract increased British investment to Uganda, where there are significant opportunities in many sectors, including oil & gas, energy, infrastructure, agribusiness, and finance.
During his speech Mr Simmonds highlighted the British government’s willingness to work in partnership with the Ugandan Government to help create a strong investment environment in Uganda, promoted the wide-ranging opportunities for doing business with Uganda, and praised the quality and expertise of British companies.
The Minister for Africa spoke of the strong commercial relationship:
Britain, with investments of over £2 billion, remains the largest cumulative investor in Uganda. It’s a position we want to retain and build upon…We are working hard to deepen these commercial links. There have been several recent successful trade missions from the UK to Uganda; including from the London and Aberdeen Chambers in March this year.
In addition, we will break new ground when the Lord Mayor of the City of London heads a high level financial services mission to Kampala in September; the first such visit to Uganda. This underlines the importance the UK places on the Ugandan market and its significant potential.
On human rights and good governance, the Minister for Africa said:
We are also clear about the values that support a stable, democratic, and prosperous society. Our ‘Good Business’ Action Plan highlights that human rights and good governance are essential for a country’s security and prosperity.
A country that is accountable and treats its people with dignity is more likely to foster creativity, ingenuity and economic opportunity – all prerequisites for long term growth.
Mr Simmonds had a bilateral meeting with President Museveni and hosted a lunch with Foreign Minister Kutesa. Mr Simmonds will also attend an evening reception hosted by the City of London Corporation.
The forum has been organised by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) and follows an event held in Kampala in April 2013, also organised by the CBC in partnership with the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
The high level Ugandan delegation to the London Forum is led by President Yoweri Museveni, and includes seven Ministers and approximately 40 senior officials from a range of Ugandan Ministries. The forum is also attended by senior UK business representatives from over 100 key UK companies, including Barclays, Bechtel, De La Rue, Globeleq, Investec, Tullow, Petrofac, and Standard Chartered.
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