BY BANKERS REPORTER
In December 2020, Uganda’s trade deficit with the East African Community (EAC) deepened to $110m, a significant level compared to December 2019 according to a report from the ministry of finance.
“Uganda traded at a deficit of $109.57m with the EAC bloc,” the report read in part.
A trade deficit means a country is buying more goods and services than it is selling or when the value of goods that a country imports is more than the value of goods it exports.
In December 2019, recorded a deficit with the EAC bloc of $15.9m. In November 2020, it registered $64.2m with the bloc.
“This was a significant increase compared to the levels recorded in December 2019 and in November 2020 due to a combination of the increased import bill and reduced export receipts for the two periods under review,” the report added.
“This development is partly explained by the non-tariff trade barriers with Kenya and continued restrictions on access to the Rwandese market – that saw a reduction in our export receipts from the two countries, while imports from Tanzania increased during the month,” it continued.
Overall, in December 2020, Uganda’s imports and exports with the EAC bloc amounted to $196.24 million and $86.67m, respectively.
Kenya continues to block some of Uganda’s sugar and milk into its market. Uganda’s Members of Parliament (MPs) are unhappy with government’s failure to resolve the dairy products ban imposed by neigbours Kenya.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic feud between Rwanda and Uganda has stopped most cross-border movements between the two countries, a situation that has had a huge effect on daily life for families in both countries.
A row between the two neighbouring countries has been simmering since 2017 but seems to have escalated when Rwanda closed its borders in 2019.