Uganda will ratify the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) free trade area, according to Mr Mr Gerald Sendaula, the chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda.

Mr Sendaula told Daily Monitor in an interview that the Trade minister had promised to sign the treaty before the end of the summit.

He said initially signing the Free Trade Area protocol was not an urgent matter, however, Uganda has grown the capacity to favourably compete with other member states.

By David Mugabe

Later this week, Uganda will assume the chair of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a development that trade experts believe will bring huge benefits to the country.

Despite being a COMESA member, Uganda will for the first time also enter the free trade area (FTA) regime of the regional trade bloc.

Joining the FTA means the tariff charges on the majority of imports and exports between Uganda and other COMESA states will drop to 2% from 10% compared to what is levied on goods from states like China except for sensitive goods.

Traders are likely to benefit as they shift focus to both local and regional trade.

Uganda is now prepared to increase trade with the continent’s regional blocs after it became apparent that it can reap just as much or even more from regional intra-trade than with its traditional trade partners in the EU and the Asian markets.

The Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde said she is committed to ensuring that Uganda fully takes advantage of regional intra-trade through provision of inducement.

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