Freezone 2

On 20 May 2016, the Economic Policy Research Centre sealed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) to undertake collaborative research, capacity building and policy engagement to enhance Uganda’s trade participation and competitiveness within the COMESA and EAC regional blocs.

The first research activities under the MOU will focus on two priority areas. First the assessment and implications of increasing or maintaining the EAC 20% threshold for goods coming from export processing zones (EPZ) and sold within the region. Secondly both parties will assess the likely impact of regional integration on the competitiveness of Free Zones within the EAC region.

Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the UFZA offices, the Executive Director EPRC, Sarah Ssewanyana said the event signified government’s appreciation of use of evidence to inform policy processes. She expressed gratitude for the partnership, adding that by working together the two institutions will be in position to garner support for the EPZs and foster economic growth and development through export oriented growth.

The Executive Director UFZA, Mr. Ricard Jabo welcomed the collaboration, the first of its kind for the Authority and emphasized the role it will play in generating export capacities in Uganda to reverse the widening trade balance. He highlighted the importance of Free Zones in increasing the competitiveness of producers who participate in international markets.

The Uganda Free Zones Authority is a body corporate under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. It was established following His Excellency the President's assent to the Free Zones Act, 2014 and started operations on 1st September 2014. The Agency is responsible for the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of free zones and to provide for other related matters.

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