By Abdi Ali
Published November 9, 2017
Uganda is set to modernise its Customs department with a grant from China.
The Government of China has agreed to give Uganda a US$30 Million grant to suppor Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to acquire latest technologies in the form of non-intrusive scanners, modernised customs risk management, supervision and communication systems, customs service and enforcement support and border infrastructure improvement.
The grant agreement was signed in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on November 3, 2017 by Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda and Dr Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr Chrispus Kiyonga, Ambassador of Uganda; Dicksons Kateshumbwa, Commissioner of Customs (URA) and other senior government officials.
Dr Qian Keming said that the grant demonstrates the value China attaches to its relationship with Uganda. Kasaija extended appreciation to the Chinese government and observed that the grant will support government to mitigate revenue losses as well as facilitate trade and border management.
The grant agreement was signed on the margins of the 2nd session of the Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Investment and Technical Cooperation. During the bilateral meeting, both sides reviewed the status of economic cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure and development cooperation. The meeting agreed on strategies to support Uganda’s competitive products access the market in China, promote the country’s touristic attractions as well as boosting investment and industrial capacity.
The Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Investment and Technical Cooperation is a bilateral mechanism that meets regularly to review implementation of agreed decisions and prioritize areas that promote trade and economic cooperation.