President Yoweri Museveni concluded his three-day State visit to Qatar with calls to Qatari investors to set up shop in Uganda while giving them guarantees of government support.
The President, who was invited by the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, was accompanied to Doha by the 1st Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni.
As he concluded his visit today, he met several business officials and investors whom he promised government support while explaining to them what investment opportunities Uganda offers.
In a meeting with a delegation led by His Highness Sheikh Abdulaziz Ali Al Thani, the Deputy Chairman of Qatar Investment Authority which owns Qatar Airways, Museveni said the government would offer the investors land for real estate development.
“Government will offer you land which was previously allocated to an investor who failed to deliver. We want you to come and redevelop the former low-cost estate into modern facilities,” he said
He also promised to resolve matters concerning Qatar Airways being blocked from taking passengers from Entebbe International Airport to Kigali and other related freight issues. He further pledged to eliminate the challenge of double taxation of investors in Uganda.
The investors, Museveni said, could also venture into processing of various agro products that include fruits, vegetables, wheat, rice and powdered milk. They also discussed the investment opportunities in the banking sector.
Sheikh Abdulaziz Ali Al Thani said they would come to Uganda and concretize the ideas while exploring even more opportunities.
Earlier, the President had held a meeting with His Highness Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani, the Chairman of the Qatar Business Association and founder of Al Faisal Company.
The company that began in the 1960s as a small automobile spare parts dealership, has grown into a multi-billion business empire with interests in property, hospitality, construction, trading, entertainment, education, services and ICT; all operating under the umbrella of Al Faisal Holding.
Forbes magazine estimates his worth at $2.2 billion and ranks him the 10th richest man in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Meeting Museveni, businessman Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani said they could consider investing in the hospitality, banking, packaging, education and minerals’ processing sectors.
“Uganda will do a feasibility study and offer you indication of where you could invest appropriately,” he told his guest, who had called on him at his residence in Doha.
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani said he would send his advance team to Uganda to work with the government on the preliminaries, promising that he would then visit Uganda himself in the near future.
As he wound up his state visit, President Museveni met the Qatar Minister of State for Defence, Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah. The two agreed to strengthen the defence cooperation between Uganda and Qatar.
The other members of the Ugandan delegation that attended the meetings included Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Sam Kutesa, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Mr. Matia Kasaija, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Mr. Patrick Mugoya, Uganda’s Ambassador to Qatar, Mr. Yahya Ssemuddu, and the Head of the Uganda Investment Authority, Ms. Jolly Kaguhangire.