During the official opening ceremony of the first Uganda Saudi Arabia expo, Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, General Abubakhar Jeje Odongo, stated that the Ugandan government will work towards increasing coffee exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is a rapidly growing coffee market.
The aim of the event themed “The Uganda Coffee industry perspective: farming, processing and exports”, is to increase the volume of coffee products exported from Uganda to Saudi Arabia. This is the first time businessmen from both countries convened to discuss methods of increasing trade between them.
General Odongo noted that Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing coffee market in the Middle East. The Saudi market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% from 2021 to 2027. This growth is a motivating factor to increase the country’s coffee exports, and comes at an uncertain time for the industry, as Uganda plans to leave the International Coffee Organization early next year.
At present, Uganda exports $419,000 worth of coffee to Saudi Arabia. President Museveni directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to increase production to 20 million cups by 2025, a significant jump from the current 3.5 million.
This effort by representatives of both countries is a good first step in the right direction, paving the way for other discussions pertaining to socio-economic matters.