Workshop on trade, FDI and regional value chains in Uganda

As Uganda seeks to reduce its trade deficit, and deepen value addition by domestic industry and services – IGC Uganda co-hosted a one-day workshop on trade, FDI and regional value chains in Kampala in partnership with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) and the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UfZA) on December 12, 2016. The workshop brought together international experts to present recent IGC research on trade, investment and regional (as well as global) value chain participation, for an audience comprising of government officials, the donor community, and the local academic and business community. The particular studies that were presented are as follows:

  • Improving Export Performance by Improving Policy Focus in Uganda: A working paper by Ben Shepherd (Developing Trade Consultants) that analyses recent data on Uganda’s trade and investment performance, and identifies key issues and policy recommendations to leverage the external sector to support structural change.
  • Industries without Smokestacks in Uganda and Rwanda: A paper by John Spray (Cambridge University) and Sebastian Wolf (Overseas Development Institute) that examines the characteristics of non-traditional industries (services, agro processing) and their role in driving structural transformation.
  • Services, Firm Performance and Exports: A paper by Bernard Hoekman (European University Institute) & Ben Shepherd (Developing Trade Consultants) that examines linkages between the economic performance of services firms in EAC countries and the productivity and export performance of manufacturing firms.
  • Regional Value Chains in East Africa: Studies by the Duke University Centre on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness on opportunities, constraints, and potential for regional integration in the maize, dairy and tourism sectors.
  • Understanding Constraints to Value Addition in Agricultural Exports – insights from East Africa: Lessons from ongoing work by Ameet Morjaria (Northwestern University) on adding value to agricultural exports from East Africa, with a particular focus on coffee exports from the region.
  • The EAC Common External Tariff (CET) and Rwanda: A paper by Garth Frazer (University of Toronto) which argues that a high CET leads firms to locate within the EAC, but more often in Kenya and Tanzania than Rwanda.  The conclusions from this paper (coupled with forthcoming analysis tailored to the Ugandan context) will be used to draw lessons for Uganda.

The objective of the workshop was to identify a few proposals to be taken up by the Government of Uganda with the support of its Development Partners to expand exports and attract FDI.

Speakers’ presentations can be found below.

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Conference participants in Kampala

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