By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus - The construction of the first Public Free Zone in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport adjacent to the Cargo Terminal was commissioned by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.
Hon Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development represented His Excellency Yoweri K. Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, during the function to kickstart the project.
The UGX47 Billion investment is a flagship project which is fully funded by the government and complements other national projects such as; the Entebbe Express Highway, Uganda Airlines, and the on-going expansion of the Entebbe International Airport.
Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded, so far as import duties are concerned, as being outside the Customs territory and are schemes set up by Government to boost export-oriented investment.
Besides, on actualization, the Free Zone will be home to seven (7) production units and a Trade house that will host offices of UFZA and URA to facilitate the smooth flow of business in the Zone.
The facility is expected to house firms engaged in high-value mineral processing activities, light manufacturing, and agro-processing for export through Entebbe International Airport. This will:
a) generate an additional US$13.4 million in capital investment;
b) create over 200 direct jobs;
c) realize export earnings of over US$4.02 million per annum increasing the volumes of goods exported through the Entebbe International Airport; and
d) generate UGX108.3 billion in direct revenues within 15-years of operation.