In a whirl of activity, President Yoweri Museveni on his second leg in Eastern Europe , has opened the country’s trade hub in Serbia and met the President of the country ‘s national parliament, Dr. Vladimir Orlić.
Museveni told the National Assembly President that Uganda as a country has succeeded in some sectors of the economy and now they are determined to cover the whole spectrum starting with coffee.
“We want the fair-minded outsiders to work with us to add value to our coffee at source, so that instead of getting only USD2.5 per kg of good coffee, we share more out of the USD40 per kg of the processed coffee,” President Museveni said.
“This is where the Serbians and other fair-minded people, should join us by doing two things: Co-invest with us or invest alone in coffee roasting, grinding and packaging in Uganda and the Serbian Government should remove the 25% tax on processed coffee and so should the other Governments of Europe, Asia and the USA. The Africans, in the last 600 years, have done alot to support the prosperity of others as slave-labourers, as raw-materials producers in the colonial and neo-colonial eras and also with our purchasing power (our pockets) buying products from the USA, Europe, Japan, China, etc. It is high time, the pockets or wallets of USA, Europe, China, Japan, etc., also support our prosperity.”
President Museveni reiterated during the meeting that Uganda firmly stands behind the decision not to recognize the unilaterally declared independence of the so-called “Kosovo”, for which Dr. Orlić thanked him.
Dr. Orlić welcomed the visit of a great friend of Serbia (President Museveni), assessing it as significant for the further improvement of bilateral relations, which this year marks six decades of establishment.
The National Assembly President also disclosed that the President of Serbia, H.E Aleksandar Vucic, was working around the clock to ensure peace and stability in the country despite the existing Kosovo threat.
Dr. Orlić further expressed his gratitude to Uganda for supporting the candidacy of the Republic of Serbia as the host of Expo 2027, as well as the satisfaction of the opening of Uganda Trade Hub-“Uganda Connect” in Belgrade.
He also noted that Serbia will send a team of scientists to Uganda to identify the possible areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“Serbia remains truly committed to the further development of relations and cooperation with all African countries, which includes Uganda to which we are bound by traditional closeness, mutual understanding and the same aspirations.”
During the meeting at the National Assembly located at 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Belgrade, President Museveni recalled the important moments of the common history of the two countries and their common struggle for freedom and independence, stressing that Serbia and Uganda should continue their struggle for progress and an even better future for their citizens.
“Marshal Tito (former president of Yugoslavia) supported the anti-colonial struggle in Africa and, although a socialist, refused to be part of the Soviet-Sino quarrels of that time. We appreciated him so much and when he died a delegation of the Post-Amin Government, of which I was part, came to take part in the funeral. I think it was led Professor Nabudere,” President Museveni said.
The meeting was also attended by Dragan Županjevac, ambassador of Serbia to Uganda, the President of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Uganda Sanja Lakić, as well as MPs.
Earlier ,President Museveni officially opened Uganda Trade Hub known as Uganda Connect in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade.
The hub is aimed at strengthening the bilateral relations between Uganda and Serbia and paving the way for the country’s goods and services in the Balkans region.
President Museveni, who is on a two-day official visit to Serbia, thanked his host, President Aleksandar Vucic and his government, for giving Uganda a chance to promote her exports in the European country.
“There’s some amount of drinking coffee in Serbia and in this part of the world; Russia and other places so we want to promote our coffee to come here processed. They have agreed to buy our processed coffee,” President Museveni said.“I want to inform you that as Uganda we have started to open doors for our exports. Unlike some Western powers who want to buy our raw materials, Serbia has allowed, and they are ready to buy our processed goods such as coffee, clothes, food and leather among others,” he added.
President Museveni also explained that the hub was very vital in promoting Uganda’s exports as it will be used to put together a contact point “from where you can get what all you need and all the linkages. The hub makes the address simpler for anybody looking for anything to buy from Uganda”
The Ugandan delegation included among others; The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Monica Musenero, Henry Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Harriet Ntabazi, Minister of State for Trade, Rwamirama Bright Kanyontore, Minister of State for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Odrek Rwabwogo ,Special Adviser to the President for Trade and Investments and Elizabeth Paula Napejok, Ambassador of Uganda in Serbia.
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