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Yacob Urges Formalization of Economic Cooperation

Saturday, 4th May 2019
The President of Singapore, Her Excellency Madam Halima Yacob, has asked the Government of Uganda to expedite the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding on Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) so that Singaporean investors and private sector can join Uganda in her struggle for socioeconomic transformation. Halima Yacob made these remarks on the occasion of receiving the credentials of Uganda's High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms Dinah Grace Akello.  The colourful ceremony held at the Singapore State House known as Istana, was attended by the Secretary in charge of commercial diplomacy at the Uganda High Commission, Mr Richard Opio; and by Uganda's Honorary Consul in Singapore, Mr Kenny Beh Chwee.  Uganda and Singapore are Commonwealth member states and have had warm and cordial relations for over five decades.

After the presentation of her credentials, Ambassador Akello made Powerpoint presentations on Uganda's investment opportunities as well as trade prospects, to the leadership of the Singaporean Businesses Federation. The chairperson of the Africa Division at the Federation expressed keen interest in Uganda's investment opportunities; but underlined the need for formal agreements such as the DTA and IPA;  so that Singaporean business community does not pass Uganda by for fear of lack of protection of their businesses.  As an indication of their strong support for Uganda, the Federation leadership  accepted to co-host a Ugandan Road Show with the High Commission late in the year. During this Show Uganda will show-case her investment opportunities to a larger audience of Singapore investors looking to Africa to grow their companies and profits. The Show will also help promote Uganda's rich socio-cultural endowments; including her arts and dance.

In a subsequent meeting with the Minister of Transport, the High Commission team was apprised of Singapore's offers for specialist training in various areas including aviation and marine engineering, the latter being carried out in their world class Maritime Academy. The Minister of State for Trade applauded the decision by Uganda to process its oil domestically by building a refinery; at another high-level meeting. He offered to share Singapore's experiences in the oil industry; as he underlined that his country is leading on oil refinery industrial bases. At the final meeting with ministers of Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs requested Uganda to signal its support for the Singaporean Mediation  Convention adopted by the 51st UN General Assembly; which will be ready for States signature from 1st August, 2019. The Minister appreciated Uganda's outstanding support for Singapore's candidatures in international organizations, citing Uganda support for his country's candidature for the International Maritime Organisations and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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