Wednesday, December 17, 2008

China backs Uganda trade zone plan

Proposals for a vast trade zone near Lake Victoria in Uganda have won Chinese backing worth around $1.5 billion over the next three years.

It could be one of the region’s largest private investments though insiders say the zone is still a long way from getting off the ground.

The plans are for a free trade zone of 200 square miles, which would have a major impact on Uganda’s economy.

Chinese money would fund a new port and logistics centre, an airport, roads and telecoms infrastructure, facilities for manufacturing companies and financial services, an agriculture training centre and residential and entertainment areas.

Officials at Chinese company Paradise Investment told Business Daily it had signed an agreement last month with Ugandan partner Kagera Eco-cities, giving it a majority share in the management of the zone.