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Uganda committed to increase coffee exports to China

(R-L) Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director and Ms. Doreen Rose Rweihangwe, Director for Quality and Regulatory Services at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA —The Minister for State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, has reiterated Government of Uganda’s commitment to increase Coffee Exports to China.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking at the one day Hybrid event, the 1st Uganda Coffee Day organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Uganda in Guangzhou in conjunction with the Embassy of Uganda in Beijing, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) which was convened with the purpose of increasing the volume of exported coffee and coffee products from Uganda to China.

The event which took place simultaneously in Guangzhou at Guangzhou Jinda Coffee & Beverages Market, one of the largest coffee markets in Southern China and UCDA Offices in Kampala featured a coffee cupping and tasting of the latest harvest of coffee samples of both Robusta and Arabica coffee

The main objective of this event was to promote the unique quality of Uganda Coffee in China, create partnerships for importation of Uganda coffee into China and attract investments in value addition in Uganda’s coffee sector.

Hon. Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda being taken through the cupping and taste process (PHOTO /Courtesy)

The Uganda Coffee Day is one of the activities to be held in commemoration of 60 years of Uganda- China relations under the theme “60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”.

The Minister commended the efforts of Uganda’s Consulate in Guangzhou and Embassy in Beijing for convening this event noting that this is in fulfilment of the Ministry’s deliberate policy to pursue Economic and Commercial Diplomacy in a bid to strengthen bi-lateral trade with China.

Hon. Oyrem informed that President Museveni, directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to accelerate the coffee production from 3.5M 60kg to 20M by 2025.

He affirmed that engagements like these will afford a necessary platform to explore the different ways on how this can be achieved.

The Minister further noted that Ugandan coffee is now ranked 3rd globally in terms of quality and Government is looking at ways of supporting the private sector to penetrate the Chinese market which will give the farmer a good place in the global trade.

H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, lauded the excellent bilateral relations between China and Uganda. He further commended the efforts of the Uganda’s Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event to promote coffee exports from Uganda to China.

The Ambassador further reiterated Government of China’s commitment to increase bilateral trade and informed that one of the ways to achieve this is through increased export of Uganda’s coffee which has a unique taste and flavor loved by a significant percentage of Chinese people.

He also informed of the commitment of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda to continue offering UCDA technical support to achieve this common goal for the mutual benefit of both parties.

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), revealed that “Uganda is coming to China in a big way.”

He further informed that Uganda’s coffee first arrived in China in 2003 and today’s event is one of the activities aimed at finding ways of how Ugandan coffee can penetrate the Chinese market.

He added that Uganda’s coffee roadmap of increasing coffee production from 3.5m bags to 20m bags by 2030 has been informed by lessons worldwide in terms of the market. He highlighted that “For China, UCDA is looking at a structured approach to offset the imports deficit through increased export volumes of coffee with focus on high quality specialty.

Amb. Fred Mugisha, Uganda’s Acting Ambassador to China giving his remarks at the event in Guangzhou.

Amb. Fred Mugisha, the Acting Ambassador to China appreciated the Minister Hon. Okello Oryem and H.E. Zhang Lizhong the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda for gracing the function as well as reiterating commitment to increase coffee exports to the Republic of China.

In his remarks, Ambassador Fred Mugisha hailed the good relations between Uganda and China.

He thanked Mr. Cai Shuqiang and his team for the support and collaboration in organizing the Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou under the theme“60 years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China towards a Shared Future in a New Era”

He highlighted that Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and the People’s Republic of China gives Ugandan coffee access to the Chinese market. He encouraged coffee exporters to take advantage this MOU to increase coffee exports to China.

Mr. Cai Shuqiang, the President of the Jinda Coffee Market in Guangzhou delivering his remarks at the event.

Mr. Cai Shuqiang, the President of the Jinda Coffee Market in Guangzhou, thanked the staff of the Uganda’s Consulate and Embassy in China and the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) for organizing this event the 1st Uganda Coffee Day in Guangzhou.

The President underscored the enormous potential for Uganda coffee in China. He expressed commitment to partner with UCDA and any other willing Ugandan Coffee exporting company in the exportation of Uganda coffee to China. He further emphasized that he would organize and lead delegation of Chinese Investors to Uganda to explore more opportunities in the coffee sector once the COVID-19 restrictions on travel in China are reviewed.

According to stastics from UCDA, China’s coffee market is estimated at US$11.5bn in annual sales and is expected to grow by 10% in the next five years. Additionally, Coffee consumption in China is growing at between 15%-20% annually. With the increasing volumes of organically grown coffee, Uganda has an advantage over other African countries to capture the China coffee market.

Mr. Jacky Lee Principal Judge of the Coffee cupping & tasting delivering his remarks at the event.

The event attracted key players in the coffee sector i.e coffee importers & exporters, traders, roasters, dealers in coffee machinery & related equipment, media practioners, relevant Government departments to mention but afew. It was concluded with an award prize giving ceremony for Uganda’s best coffees in cupping and tasting presided over by Mr. Jacky Lee Judge and Panel Chief in Guangzhou.

The following coffee brands won different prizes with Sipi falls Natural Anaerobic from Kawacom (U) Ltd winning followed by Natural from Mountain Harvest and Mt Elgon UTZ AAA washed Arabica coffee.

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