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UIA launches Investment Facilitation and Protection Campaign

The government’s industrialization plan will be strengthened by this campaign, which will also increase exports and encourage import substitution. It attempts to maintain Uganda’s standing as the top East African investment destination, which will be reaffirmed in 2023 at the Annual Investment Awards in Abu Dhabi.

Addressing journalists at Namanve, Robert Mukiza ,the UIA Director General alluded that this campaign’s main tenet is providing prompt assistance to foreign and local investors so they can benefit from Uganda’s attractive incentive packages, particularly the availability of industrial park land.

“UIA will work with other relevant Government agencies such as: the Uganda Revenue Authority, the State House Investors Protection Unit, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, NWSC, UMEME and others to ensure that services to investors are provided in a timely way…” he said.

He added that as the campaign goes on, he will personally visit investors in all industrial parks to personally examine their difficulties and come up with relevant solutions as a proactive approach. Also, in compliance with the UIA mandate, a special 24-hour hotline for investors’ complaints or requests has been set up at his workplace. Every concern that is brought up will be immediately resolved, ideally in a week or less.

“Furthermore, we would like to urge all potential investors, especially indigenous Ugandans that the Government of Uganda has made available 81 square miles of land in our gazetted industrial parks, countrywide. If you have an interesting value addition project, please feel free to approach us with your idea or project. Ugandans should be aware that all land in industrial parks is free of charge,” he said.

Mukiza cautioned that recipients of allotted land must, however, abide by certain terms and restrictions, which include starting development within 18 months, establishing factory/office buildings within 2 years, roofing the structures within 3 years, and installing machinery within 4 years. As stated in public notices, noncompliance with these criteria will lead to the revocation of the land allotted.

He once again stressed that land for industrial parks is given away for free, in compliance with the 2016 decision from the President. Any attempts to offer land to investors by dishonest people or scammers need to be notified right away via the hotline. “We are steadfast in our resolve to prevent sabotage of the President’s industrialization strategy. Furthermore, Ugandans can obtain all UIA services through the One Stop Centers at no cost to them.”

Free land in gazetted industrial parks for domestic and foreign investors are one of the incentives the government through Uganda Investment Authority has put in place to foster establishment and flourishing of domestic and foreign investors.

Other incentives include; the minimum capital requirement for a foreign investor to get an investment license and an investment certificate and qualify for incentives, he or she must deliver a capital investment of USD 250,000. For a local investor, the minimum capital requirement is USD 50,000.

Others include; a 10 year tax exemption on income derived by an investor in an industrial park and outside industrial park who invests in agro processing, manufacture of medical appliances etc. and use at least 70 percent of local raw materials and employs 70 per cent of Ugandans/East Africans who must take up 70 per cent of the wage bill. To qualify for this incentive, USD 10 million is the minimum required investment for foreign investors and USD 300,000 for local investors – and USD 150,000 if the local investment is up-country.

There is also a 10 year tax exemption on income derived from renting or leasing facilities established in industrial parks or free zones. To qualify for this incentive, the minimum capital investment for foreign investors is USD 50 million and for local investors it is USD 10 million.

Investors whose income is derived from exportation of finished consumer and capital goods qualify for 10 year income tax exemption if 80% of their production is exported to markets beyond the East African Community.

 Investors involved in agro-processing qualify for a one year income tax exemption. Import duty on plant and machinery for agro-processing is also exempt. All inputs for manufacturing in agro processing are duty free (zero rated).

Investors qualify for 100% deductible allowances on cost of training Ugandans and cost of research into new technologies. i.e. when paying taxes (filing returns), this cost is deducted.

Raw materials not available in Uganda for input into manufacturing are duty free. Value added tax on accommodation in hotels and tourist lodges upcountry is now zero rated (free). Industrialists access electricity at a cost of $5 cents United States dollars for 1-kilowatt per hour.

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