BY PPU REPORTER
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has appealed to the government of the People's Republic of China to open their market for finished goods.
“I would like to encourage China to open their market more for processed coffee and other products, not only raw materials,” he urged.
President Museveni made the remarks in a meeting with a delegation from the National People’s Congress of China led by the standing committee's Deputy Chairman, H.E. Luosang Jiangcun, at State House Entebbe.
The President noted that Uganda attaches a lot of importance to the China market because it helps to support the prosperity of the East African country.
“When I last checked, China had opened up its market for 400 products to enter their country without tax or limit. That is very important because somebody buying what you produce is actual support. One of the problems in Africa has been the export of raw materials, because when you export raw materials, the income is not only much lower, but you also lose jobs. It is important for China and Africa to trade in finished products more.".
Adding that, “When you hear that there are crises in many African countries, this is the root cause. The economy cannot grow without value addition. So, I encourage China to open their market more for finished products.”
President Museveni conveyed greetings to the President of China, H.E. Xi Jinping, and lauded China for always supporting Africa's development.
“Ever since 1949, when the Communist Party took power in China, China has been on the side of Africa. At that time, Chinese leaders like Mao Tse-tung supported our struggle against colonialism. Then, after independence, even when China was not so prosperous, they extended support to Africa. I remember China building the Tanzania-Zambia railway after independence, and that was to help landlocked Zambia against the white Supremacists in Southern Africa,” H.E. Museveni explained.
Uganda and China have been cooperating for decades. “A number of projects have been launched, like the rice scheme in the east of the country. They have helped us with two hydroelectric dams with a total of 900 megawatts, then helped us with the Expressway, and the Huawei company has been helping with the internet backbone as well as many other projects. So, we are very happy with China.”
President Museveni also expressed gratitude to China for its support on the issue of the UN Security Council reform that pushed for Africa to get two permanent seats on the council.
He also thanked H.E. Jinping for his move to send a high-level delegation to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and G-77+China Third South Summits, which will take place in Kampala next year in January.
On his part, H.E. Luosang thanked President Museveni for promoting China-Africa friendship and cooperation.
“I want to convey President Xi Jinping's sincere greetings and wishes to you, Your Excellency. You are an experienced politician and a leader of high regard in Africa committed to China-Uganda and China-Africa friendship and cooperation,” he said.
H.E. Luosang disclosed that China highly commends President Museveni for promoting peace and development in Africa.
“Under your strong leadership, the Ugandan government and people have been committed to an independent development path, and you have made notable progress in national socio-economic development. Uganda is a good friend of China, and you are a cooperative partner of China in Africa,” he said.
“In recent years, President Xi Jinping has had multiple meetings with Your Excellency, and you have maintained regular communication. You have jointly contributed to the strengthening of bilateral relations between Uganda and China.”
H.E. Luosang further reiterated China's commitment to support Uganda to achieve its socio-economic development agenda.
“We are looking forward to enhancing our bilateral relations and bringing the China-Uganda cooperative partnership to a new era.”
On the issue of the NAM and G-77+China Third South Summits, H.E. Luosang said China supports Uganda in hosting the events and that they believe that the two summits will be an opportunity for the developing countries to strengthen solidarity and seek common development.
“It (NAM) will further improve Uganda's international influence, and I thank you for the letter inviting President Xi Jinping to attend the meeting. His Excellency attaches great importance to the summit, but due to the tight schedule, he will not be able to attend in person, but he will send a high-level delegation to join you.”
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, Government Chief whip, Hon. Denis Obua; and the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze.