External Trade Department is Responsible for developing, coordinating, regulating, promoting and facilitating domestic and external trade with particular emphasis on export promotion and access to regional and international markets.

Its main functions are to;

• Initiate and formulate policies, legislation and strategies for domestic and external trade development;

• Coordinate the design of policy interventions that promote the competitiveness of Ugandan products and services domestically and internationally;

• Collaborate with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Development Partners, the Private Sector, Civil Society and Academia in the design and implementation of programs and interventions to promote domestic, regional and international trade;

• Facilitate export trade diversification and promotion of non-traditional exports;

• Facilitate smooth flow of trade through provision of trade and market information;

• Support capacity building, and participate in trade negotiations to secure and expand markets for Ugandan products and services;

• Manage and coordinate multilateral (WTO), bilateral and regional trade and integration within COMESA, EAC and other regional economic communities;

• Undertake and evaluate trade research, manage and disseminate trade information that promotes domestic and external trade;

• Facilitate trade diversification and smooth flow of trade;

• Initiate and negotiate bilateral/multilateral trade agreements arrangements in order to secure favorable terms for Uganda’s external trade;

• Monitor trade practices and policies; evaluate trade research; and Collaborate with Private Sector associations and Government Institutions in regulating trade.

• Facilitate export trade diversification and promotion of non-traditional exports;

• Facilitate smooth flow of trade through provision of trade and market information;

• Manage and coordinate multilateral (WTO), bilateral and regional trade and integration within COMESA, EAC and other regional economic communities;

• Undertake and evaluate trade research, manage and disseminate trade information that promotes external trade;

• Initiate and negotiate bilateral/multilateral trade agreements and arrangements in order to secure favorable terms for Uganda’s external trade;

• Monitor trade practices and implementation of sectoral policies; and oversee the operations of the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB)

• Oversee the operations of the AGOA Unit in Uganda

• Formulate Laws, Policies, Strategies and Plans that promote external trade for economic growth and development of the Country.

• Monitor and Supervise the implementation of Policies, Laws and Strategies for sustainable external trade growth in the country.

• Prudent trade negotiations for improved Terms of Trade for the Country.

• Build capacity of Public Institutions and the Private Sector for external trade growth in the country.

• Promote Economic integration and increased market access for external trade growth.

• Provide and facilitate supporting infrastructure for external trade growth.


 Achievements of the External Trade Department 2015-2016

  • Reviewed COMESA Integration progress and planned for future programs during the COMESA Policy Organs Meetings in Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Participated in the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where we achieved DFQF Market access for cotton from LDCs, removal of agricultural subsidies by Trade Negotiation Securing Market Access for goods through the Negotiations of the COMESA -EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area;
  • Uganda's Interests at the WTO catered for through participation at WTO Negotiations Meetings (TRIPS Council meetings, Council for Trade in Goods);
  • Drafting instruction for the Competition Bill issued to the First Parliamentary Counsel (FPC)
  • The COMESA Treaty Implementation Bill was approved by Cabinet and is awaiting Printing by Government Printers and subsequent presentation to Parliament
  • The WTO Implementation Bill is awaiting printing by the Government Printers and subsequent presentation to Parliament
  • Finalization of the Negotiation for the US-EAC Trade and Investment Treaty;
  • Train the National Trade Negotiation Team (NTNT) in Rules of Origin, Trade Facilitation and tariff liberalization modalities;
  • Launch of the Negotiation of the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement
  • Studies to inform Uganda's programmes and interventions to promote external trade carried out

 Plans of the External Trade Department 2016/17

 • Finalisation of the Consumer Protection and Competition Bill;

• Operationalisation of the COMESA Treaty Implementation Bill;

• Domestication of the WTO Bill;

• Finalisation of Intellectual Property Rights Policy;

• Formulation of the National Policy on Exposition, Fairs and Exhibition

• Finalise the National Services Trade Policy


 Important Policys at the Ministry under External Trade Department

  • Consumer Protection and Competition
  • National Trade Policy

 Uganda Export Promotion Board Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority Management Training and Advisory Centre Uganda National Bureau of Standards Uganda Industrial Research Institute