DIPLOMACY

Uganda, Burundi agree to improve bilateral trade relations

State Minister for Foreign Affairs John Mulimba (PHOTO /Courtesy)

State Minister for Foreign Affairs John Mulimba (PHOTO /Courtesy)

BUJUMBURA — State Minister for Foreign Affairs John Mulimba has underscored the need for Uganda and Burundi to engage under the framework of the Joint Permanent Commission emphasizing that such platforms are instrumental in achieving agreed interests of both countries.

Minister Mulimba who spoke at the 3rd session of the Joint Permanent Commission held on 22nd-24 March 2022 in Bujumbura reiterated Uganda’s commitment and readiness to continue working with Bujumbura to strengthen relations for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

He said Burundi and Uganda enjoy cordial and historical bilateral relations which have been characterized by regular exchange of visits at all levels of Government including the Heads of State.

“This has also seen two countries come to the aid of each during extreme moments of need. Uganda has also been involved in the peace making process to restore peace and stability in Burundi over the past two decades,” he said, adding that:

“Uganda therefore reiterates its unwavering commitment and readiness to continue working with Burundi to have these relations strengthened further for the mutual benefit of the two countries”.

While the political and diplomatic relations between Uganda and Burundi have been cordial, Mulimba said the products of peace are yet to be optimally harnessed to promote trade relations between the two countries as they remain low.

Trade volumes between Uganda and Burundi are the lowest in the East African region.

The 3rd Joint Permanent Commission in regard to bilateral relations, discussed matters pertaining to the improvement of the Trade between Uganda and Burundi to further promote the already existing cordial relations between both countries

Mugimba said that the 3rd session of JPC helped both countries to deliberate on infrastructure development projects that address the geographical location challenges aiming at making both countries land linked through appropriate road and railway networks that provide easy access to world markets.

“There is therefore need for us to work together to promote bilateral trade relations between Uganda and Burundi, if the attainment of the socio economic transformation agenda by our two countries, and the improvement of the welfare of our two peoples is to be realized in the context of the East African Community and the African Union Agenda 2063”.

He said Uganda was ready to work with Burundi to ensure that all that is required in terms of conducive policy environment is put in place bilateral trade levels between the two countries enhanced.

“We have to be conscious of the fact that, this will not only require a conducive policy environment, but also enhanced physical and communication infrastructure. In this regard therefore, Uganda reiterates its commitment to work with Burundi to explore all possibilities of ensuring that the physical and communication infrastructure is enhanced to boost the smooth flow of trade between the two countries”.

Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi reiterated Bujumbura’s commitment to the strengthening of Implementation of Development Cooperation projects in key sector areas for the mutual benefit of both countries.

Uganda is expected to host the 4th session of the Burundi-Uganda Joint Permanent Commission in 2023.

It is important to note that holding of JPCs regular basis is critical in reviewing the status of implementation of agreed-upon decisions and to explore new areas of cooperation.

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