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Free zones authority issues first developer licence

By Edward Kayiwa - Added 31st January 2017 04:01 PM 

The Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has issued its first developer’s license to a group of Ugandan investors to develop and operate the Arua Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for entrepreneurs.

The group of investors whose identities UFZA declined to reveal will develop the infrastructure on the 12.75 hectare area for utilisation by entrepreneurs.

The licence comes two years since UFZA was created, to boost government’s efforts at creating avenues to improve the country’s current account.

UFZA officials said the $12.7m (sh45.491b) Arua free zone is expected to create at least 450 direct jobs in the first three years, with more than 2,500 indirect jobs for the people in the region.

The officials said 45,000 square meters of productive ware house space will be created at the facility, which is expected to attract additional investments worth $30.6m (sh109.6 b) from operators who will undertake new investments.

“The authority will participate in marketing the free zone to ensure that it produces desired results,” UFZA executive director Richard Jabo said during the handover of the license, at his offices in Kampala on Tuesday.

A free Zone is a designated area where goods are regarded as being outside the customs territory, as far as import duty is concerned.

It usually takes the form of manufacturing or processing facilities, science and technology parks or even a tourism development zone.

Jabo said UFZA aims at creating 8 private and 2 public free economic zones, with the hope of increasing export earnings by at least $100m (sh358b) per year, and creating more than 2,500 direct jobs.

“We also intend to attract investments worth $1b (sh3.58trillion) by 2020, by offering both tax and non-tax incentives to investors interested in value addition, from various sectors of the economy, especially agro-processing. The parks will help us to attract more investors in the industrial sector, boost production especially for the export market, and also create more jobs needed for our economy,” he said.

- See more at: New Vision

- See more at: Daily Monitor