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Hub grantee SEATINI-U supports bill to improve Uganda’s trade environment

Published on July 26, 2017

Uganda's Cabinet has endorsed the draft Investment Code Bill 2017, which seeks to align Uganda's investment policy stance with its commitments to the East Africa Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol. The bill also seeks to reform several provisions that would improve the entry, facilitation and protection experience of foreign investors doing business in Uganda.

The bill was prepared with input from Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute Uganda (SEATINI-U) with support from Hub investment policy experts. The Bill is now with Uganda’s Parliament for consideration.

Bill reforms include:
- Defining a local investor to include natural persons and companies where the controlling interest is held by persons from an EAC Partner State. It proceeds to accord them the same incentives as Ugandan investors.
- Shifting the approach of the code from regulatory and control-based to promotion and facilitation.
- Repealing several discriminatory provisions between domestic and foreign investors and incorporating international best practice in several measures.
- Providing better protection for foreign investors in several issues, including obtaining credit from domestic sources, and better intellectual property rights for use of foreign technology.

The passage of this bill will significantly improve Uganda's legal and regulatory environment for foreign and domestic investment, which will in turn lead to a better environment for regional and international trade. It will also move Uganda a step closer to implementing the EAC Common Market Protocol. A Hub-prepared reform memorandum contributed to the advocacy process leading to publication of the bill and can be found here. Click here to view the draft bill.  

The Hub is partnering SEATINI-U to accelerate implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol by promoting coherence between Uganda’s laws, policies and regulations for increased intra-regional trade and investment flows. Want to learn more about the EAC Common Market Protocol? Watch our two-minute video below!