Malaysia’s Wilmar Plantation Services Ltd, one of the world’s biggest palm oil traders, is investing about US10 million to establish an oil palm plantation in Kalangala, near here, over a three-year period.
The executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority, Prof Maggie Kigozi said that the amount is only an initial investment, as the Malaysian company is poised to expand the plantation project in future.
“Uganda has vast tracks of land, suitable for oil palm plantations.It’s a huge opportunity.
“We hope more Malaysian investors will come here to invest not only in the plantation sector but also in tourism and agriculture,” she told Bernama, here Wednesday.
Maggie said apart from Wilmar Plantation Services, which plans to hire or engage at least 147 workers, two other Malaysia-owned companies, Nico Insurance (U) Ltd and Prespec Prime Ltd had also invested in the community and social services sectors respectively.
“We have another two Malaysian-related companies, Lake Victoria Convention Centre and Resort and Phenix Logistics (U) Ltd, involved in joint venture businesses with local partners.
“This is a good omen for us as more foreign investors and tourists are coming to Uganda as a result of the Smart Partnership Dialogue here in 2001,” she highlighted.
This year’s 19th Global Smart Partnership Dialogue was hosted by Uganda for the second time.
Its aim is to stimulate and support sustainable development through new ways of doing things which are participative, visionary and technologically innovative, with a view to bridging the gap between the private and public sector.
Maggie however indicated that the number of Malaysian investors in Uganda was still small and efforts are being made to lure more foreign investments from the country and elsewhere.
On investment opportunities in agriculture, she said Uganda is among the leading producers of coffee and bananas.
“It is also a major producer of tea, cotton, tobacco, cereals, oilseeds, fresh and preserved fruits, vegetables and nuts. The opportunities include commercial farming and the supply of agricultural machinery,” she added.
On tourism, Maggie said the distinctive attraction of Uganda as a tourist destination arose from the variety of its game stock and unspoilt scenic beauty.
“Within a relatively limited space of just over 240,000 square kilometres, Uganda offers an interesting contrast.
“This ranges from the wide East African plains and expansive savanna grasslands to the impenetrable, mountain rain forests and snow peaked mountains in the south western part of the country,” she explained.
Maggie said the opportunities in tourism included constructing high quality accommodation facilities, operating tours and travel circuits and the development of specialised eco-tourism.
Uganda has a total population of about 30 million.
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