China’s top political advisor Wang Yang Thursday visited a Chinese-invested industrial park in central Uganda, encouraging more Chinese companies to develop business in Africa and improve localization level.
Wang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), paid the visit to the Liaoshen Industrial Park in Kapeeka town, Nakaseke District, Central Region of Uganda during his four-day visit to the eastern African country since Wednesday.
During his stay in the industrial park, Wang went into the workshops of the factories there, talked with employees from Uganda and China and met with representatives of the companies.
Calling the construction of industrial parks “a new measure” in the China-Uganda cooperation, Wang said it has played an important role in the development of Uganda and is of landmark significance.
He encouraged Chinese enterprises to further develop business in Africa and called on them to abide by local laws and regulations, respect local customs and practices, protect environment and labor rights, fulfill social responsibilities and continuously improve the localization level.
Uganda’s Security Minister Elly Tumwine and the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation General Salim Saleh accompanied Wang to visit the industrial park.
Both Tumwine and Salim told Wang that Uganda highly values the demonstration effects the industrial park has brought to Uganda’s economic construction and plans to make it as an example project so as to realize the goals of building a modern logistic system, restructuring agriculture and promoting import substitute.
Uganda welcomes more Chinese companies to invest here, they said.
Recent years have seen robust China-Africa cooperation. During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg in December 2015, 10 cooperation projects covering a wide range of fields from industrialization to public health were announced.
The Liaoshen Industrial Park, invested by private Chinese companies, celebrated its ground-breaking ceremony in December 2015 which was attended by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni.
Currently, the Liaoshen Industrial Park is one of the 22 national industrial parks in Uganda. Five factories are in operation there, covering fruit processing, maize storage and milling, ceramics and electric cables, hiring 2,500 local employees.
Among them, the ceramics company changes the situation that Uganda used to totally rely on import in terms of ceramics while some 40 percent of its products have been exported to neighboring countries which help improve Uganda’s foreign currency revenue. The food processing company makes Uganda’s fresh fruits into dried fruits and exports China.
The industrial park is expected to accommodate 80 companies and hire up to 16,000 employees by 2025. Chinese investors will spend about 600 million U.S. dollars in the park before it goes into full operation, according to figures from the Chinese embassy.
China ranks first in terms of foreign direct investment in Uganda. More Chinese-invested industrial parks are expected in the country, on top of the four currently in place.