President Yoweri Museveni has said that taxes on export services, such as tourism, should be removed to attract more investors in the country.
“We abolished export tax on coffee in 1987 because it was an export. Tourism is an export service and there is no one who has ever brought it on board. There should be no taxes on these export oriented services,” he said.
The President was today opening the 5th Presidential Investors’ Round Table at State House Entebbe. The deliberations focused on tourism and the business environment in the country.
Uganda’s tourism sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the financial year 2014/15 increased to Shs.6.3billion up from Shs.5.6billion the previous year.
President Museveni told the meeting that most of the hardware issues, such as security and infrastructure, among others, have been put in place by the NRM government adding that the only remaining issue is with private infrastructure such as hotels. He noted that that private infrastructure will also be realized with increased demand.
“The basics are in place; peace and infrastructure such as roads. The remaining issue may be private infrastructure such as hotels. I am sure it will come with demand,” he said.
The President revealed that he plans to put in place aerodromes to enable tourists to directly land in tourism potential areas or emanate from Entebbe International Airport to those various places such as Kidepo National Park in Karamoja Sub-Region and Bwindi in South Western Uganda, among other places.
Mr. Museveni called on government Ministry heads to work and create direct links with the private sector for better service delivery especially in the tourism industry if the country is to realize tangible results.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said as government continues to push for economic development and transformation, his office will strive to further strengthen and streamline coordination in government and in so doing, follow up on the implementation of recommendations of the Presidential Investors Round Table.
Presidential Investors’ Round Table (PIRT), launched in 2004, is a high level forum that is chaired by the President. It brings together a select group of both local and foreign investors to advise government on how to improve the investment climate in the country.