Thursday, November 24, 2011
A DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF INVESTORS WAS EXPECTED
Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka and Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority Tom Buringuriza address a press conference at the Media Centre in Kampala. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI
By RISDEL KASASIRA
Posted Thursday, November 24 2011 at 00:00
Uganda has registered 31 per cent decrease in the number of local and foreign investors in the last three months. Ugandan Investment Authority (UIA) attributes the decline to the current global economic meltdown and high investment costs caused by high inflation levels in Uganda.
According to the quarterly investment report from July to September, UIA registered 49 investment projects worth $112 million were registered between July and September compared to 95 which were valued at $210m from April to June.
“The economy has continued to face challenges arising from a combination of global factors including international financial crisis, economic slowdown and the volatility of commodity markets,” the report said.
The UIA acting Executive Director, Mr Tom Buringuriza, said majority of these registered investment projects are in sectors of real estate, insurance, financial services and agro-processing.
Bureaucracy caused by newly introduced stringent licensing conditions by government like equity from the banks, Uganda Revenue Authority certified paid up tax, targeting quack investors, has also caused a reduction in the number of registered investments in the third quarter, the report said.
Previously, the UIA approved investment licences to investors who had proof that their businesses were registered by the company registrar and worth $50,000 for local and $100,000 for foreign investors.
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However, in September, UIA decided that investors must further show proof of their source of funding. Kenya, China, Eritrea and India topped the list of the countries with the highest number of investments in Uganda.
The minister of finance, planning and economic development, Ms Maria Kiwanuka said the bi-annual presidential investors’ round table meeting scheduled for tomorrow, will identify the bottlenecks to private investments in the country.