The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), a union of all employers in Uganda has conducted a survey that shows a rise in the number of Chinese investors in Uganda.
The baseline survey of Chinese enterprises in Uganda was done in regard to the establishment of a data base for Chinese enterprises in Uganda in order to facilitate the formation and development of Company Cooperation Groups and promoting socially responsible business in East Africa.
It was done in partnership with the Chinese Enterprise Confederation and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises.
According to Ms. Rebecca Wamono Nalumu, special advisor Uganda Investment Authority and conducted the survey on behalf of the FUE, the growth of new Chinese enterprises has been rapid in the recent years and some of the new companies lack information on aspects such as labour laws, labour relations, giving an opportunity for the project to target such enterprises.
Nalumu noted that most of the Chinese Enterprises are small and medium enterprises employing less than 50 people.
They were recorded at 73% of the 150 Chinese Enterprises surveyed. The large companies were 41 registering a percentage of 27%.
It was discovered that a number of Chinese enterprises operate in Uganda but have no signposts and it is difficult to locate them.
“This challenge was also encountered during the distribution of invitations to the CCG meetings and dissemination of documents and activities of the project,” explained Nalumu.
However she added that since, a number of the enterprises provided their telephone contacts and email addresses, which could assist in locating them.
Though most Chinese enterprises have been blamed for supplying substandard products to East Africa, Nalumu noted that some like Tian Tang and Nile Steel and Plastics are doing a tremendous job.
“Though the majorities are in wholesale and retail business,” she stressed adding that others are in manufacturing, accommodation and food services, restaurant and catering services and construction services.
She was giving a presentation during the visit of Mr. John Bernander the Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise at the Kampala Serena Hotel over the weekend.
Chinese investment in Africa at the state level is growing in Africa at astronomical speeds. Individual Chinese businesses are also following. In Uganda, some who are engaged in retail business have caused unease among local retailers.