India Uganda relations
India and Uganda relations were strong since the beginning of the 19th century. Indians were brought to Uganda in the 19th century for the construction of Mombasa – Kampala railway line. Indian freedom struggle was a great inspiration for many Ugandan activists. Uganda freedom struggle was also supported by Indian leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru.
The relations between the countries faced a tough phase in 1972 during the regime of Idi Amin. He expelled over 55,000 persons of Indian origin. Though, they had been the backbone of the country, Amin accused them of exploiting native Ugandans.
The engagement of Indian Government with the country has always been consultative and response based. After IAFS – I, Uganda was nominated to host the India – Africal Institute of Foreign trade (IAFT). It is one of the 5 institutes offered by India at pan – Africa level. At the second IAFS, India declared the establishment of food processing business incubation center. The center supported the local entrepreneurs by enhancing their skills of food processing with the latest technology.
The first ever foreign office consultation between the countries was held in 2018.
Indian business men are the largest tax payers of Uganda. They play a key role in the Ugandan economy especially in trade, service and manufacturing sectors. Indians in Uganda are predominantly of Gujarat descent. The bilateral trade between the countries have always been in the favor of India. In 2017, India exported 507 million USD worth goods to Uganda. It includes pharmaceuticals, plastic, vehicles, organic chemicals. In the same year, India imported 59.69 million USD worth goods. It includes essential oils, cotton, tea, coffee, spices, charcoal, cotton, etc.
Uganda imports almost 30% of pharmaceuticals from India. Also, India is the second largest FSI source for Uganda. Uganda is a beneficiary of DFTP – Duty Free Tariff Preference scheme of India. India and Uganda signed Double taxation avoidance agreement in 2004.
There are around 30,000 Indians living in Uganda. Most of the Indian community is concentrated in Kampala and they play leading role in agro – processing, trade, banking and manufacturing sector. Indian population in Uganda pays 70% of Uganda’s direct tax.