UK Exports to Uganda

The UK exported £50m worth of goods to Uganda in 2008 (up 7% on 2007) and is among Uganda’s top 10 sources of imports. The UK is one of the leading investors in Uganda, with investments worth over US $500m since 1996.

Uganda is a growing market and UK companies can find opportunities in many sectors, including agriculture, power, education & skills and oil & gas.

The main UK exports to Uganda in 2008 were:

  • Medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£6m)
  • Power generating machinery and equipment (£4m)
  • Road vehicles (£5m)
  • Machinery specialised for particular industries (£4m)
  • Professional and scientific instruments
  • Office machines
  • Electrical machinery

Agriculture is the main growth area, and associated inputs, such as irrigation plant, agro-processing equipments and spares offer good prospects.

There are opportunities in the following sectors:

  • Agriculture - Tea, Coffee and Horticulture
  • Tourism - Hotels and Conference facilities
  • Building & Construction - Hotel upgrading and new, Housing
  • Energy - hydroelectric power. Infrastructure - Roads, ICT
  • Environment & Natural Resources - Water supply, Fisheries and Mining
  • Education - Schools, Colleges and Training
  • Finance - Banking & Insurance services

Uganda is endowed with good climate and fertile soil. It has ample natural, mineral and human resources that are under utilised.

Many UK companies have taken advantage of opportunities in tourism, horticulture and telecommunications industries, Uganda's fastest growing sectors. There are likely to be further opportunities flowing from Uganda’s privatisation programme.

Uganda is a small market but the UK is still one of the leading exporters and major investors in the country, with about US$ 500million of UK investment since 1996. British companies have been active in all sectors from agriculture and engineering to banking and consultancy. There has however been a slowdown in investment from the UK as South Africa and Far East countries overtake the UK in terms of investment.

Disposable income is still very low. UK companies still feel the market is small with widespread poverty. However there is hope as the economy improves each year and the security situation with the neighbouring countries improves. People are keen to buy UK products because of quality but because of the strong pound, UK products are not competitive in terms of price as compared to goods from the Far East and South Africa.

Trade statistics

UK Trade (Goods Only) with Uganda 2004 - 2008 (£ thousands)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
UK Exports 36,400 37,230 38,980 46,700 49,779
UK Imports 13,170 11,630 12,950 16,400 18,876

Further sources of Trade Statistics and Key Economic Indicators and other information on Uganda and UK include:

  • The Uganda Bureau of Statistics website: www.ubos.org.
  • The Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development website: www.finance.go.ug.
  • The National Statistics Information (www.statistics.gov.uk).
  • Library Service (NSILS) is a public library providing access to the statistical outputs of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) - (Tel: 0845 601 3034)· UKtradeinfo (www.uktradeinfo.co.uk) supplies free UK trade statistics on a monthly basis.
  • HM Revenue & Customs, (www.hmrc.gov.uk).