THE GREAT LAKES TRADE FACILITATION PROJECT (GTLFP)
Uganda is implementing the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project which aimed at facilitating cross-border trade by increasing the capacity for commerce and reducing the costs faced by traders, especially small-scale and women traders at targeted locations in the borderlands. Reducing the cost of doing small scale business, especially by female traders, was identified as one of the ways through which boosting trade would be realized.
The project which is implemented with funds from the World Bank targets to enhance the trade among the great lakes countries, Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa provides the regional coordination aspects of the project. In the case of Uganda, the project focuses on the trade with DRC.
The COMESA region remains Uganda’s leading export destination representing about 50% export market share. In the region, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)is Uganda’s third (3rd) export destination with Uganda’s total trade with DRC currently valued at $419.7m. Uganda exports goods to DRC worth $398.2m and imports goods worth $21.5m.
Over the years, Uganda’s trade with DRC has declined by $88,167. The major reasons for this decline is because both countries have not exploited the potential for more trade that exists in products such as cement, edible oil, petroleum products, cereals, iron and steel, iron sheets, sugar, beverages spirits, fish, plastics, palm oil, cosmetics, clothing especially bitenge, spices, essential oils and wood among others.