KAMPALA: India is willing to address the trade deficit with Uganda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said as he urged the business community of the two countries to fully exploit the favorable conditions for enhancing the bilateral trade.
Prime Minister Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Uganda, the first bilateral tour by an Indian prime minister since 1997, addressed the business community at the India-Uganda Business Forum organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who was also present at the meeting, exhorted the business community from both the countries to tap the opportunities available for enhancing trade and investment.
Prime Minister Modi and President Museveni discussed the issue of trade imbalance between India and Uganda.
The two leaders noted the current level of bilateral trade and expressed the desire to enhance and diversify the trade basket including addressing the trade imbalance and to facilitate trade between the two countries.
Modi said that President Museveni is right in saying that there is a trade imbalance between India and Uganda.
“I have come here to solve that (trade imbalance),” he said.
“India is willing to take steps to address the trade deficit between India and Uganda. We have to fully exploit the favorable conditions for doing business between India and Uganda,” the prime minister said.
India’s exports to Uganda in 2016 stood at USD 524.02 million while India’s imports from Uganda was just USD 68.22 million, according to the High Commission of India in Kampala.
“When I compare the economic relationship of India and Uganda, I find this a perfect win-win situation. But we are falling short and are unable to take advantage of this situation. If we strategize things precisely, I think we can go beyond that,” Modi said.
Investment in India is very easy for anyone because India is a policy-driven governance where there is tax stability and predictable taxation, Modi said.
He said that India was ready to work with Uganda in the fields of capacity building, human resource development, skill development, innovation and also in adding value to the abundant natural resources available in the country.
Modi also highlighted India’s growth trajectory and the transformative changes taking place in the country. PTI