Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) has asked government to stop importing furniture in order to support the local industry.
While touring the Tian Tang Group of Companies on Tuesday, Mr Sebaggala Kigozi, the UMA executive director, said government should start enforcing the ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda Policy’ by ensuring that consumption of home-made products is prioritised.
This will protect and promote local industries that are facing undue competition from imported products with inferior quality.
“We are calling upon all government ministries, agencies, departments, schools and hospitals to start buying things Ugandans manufacture to support our local industries and the economy,” he said.
Locally-made products such as iron sheets, steel bars and marine boards and plywood are some of the commodities which are required in large quantities for big infrastructure projects.
“We are now inspecting steel, wood and textile factories to see if they have developed the capacity to meet the demand of their products before we can demand that the purchase of their goods takes priority over imports,” Mr Kigozi said.
Mr Ronald Tusingwire, the lawyer representing the Chinese factory, said the continued importation of wood products such as marine boards and plywood, which are essential in big infrastructure projects yet they now manufactured in the country, limits the manufacturer’s capacity to grow because the imports are dumped into the country at a cheaper cost than they can sell theirs.
“We produce one million boards a year which are on high demand in Kenya, Tanzania and the European Union where we hope to start exporting to but the imports are limiting our capacity to grow,” he said.
Mr Tusingwire added that government should protect local industries by guaranteeing their market and creating jobs.