Vivo Energy Uganda, the company that distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants in Uganda, together with the Chinese business community have held a business forum to discuss greater partnerships and investment opportunities in Uganda.
The forum, held on 18th May 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala, was graced by the Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation, Mr Gideon Badagawa and the Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Uganda, Mrs. Zhao Xiufen. It brought together members of the Chinese business community to celebrate their achievements resulting from the partnership with Vivo Energy Uganda and to discuss further investment opportunities.
Gideon Badagawa encouraged the Chinese community to continue doing their best to share technical knowledge with Ugandans during the life of their projects to encourage technology transfer and long term skills development of the younger population of Ugandans who make up the majority of the population. He commended Vivo Energy for bringing the brilliant minds in the room together to continue promoting the growth and development of Uganda and the strong relationship between Uganda and China.
Gilbert Assi highlighted that Vivo Energy is a Pan African company with a focus on fuelling Africa’s future. “We share this focus with China who are investing heavily to support Africa’s development – especially through investment in industry growth and agricultural modernisation. Our commercial operations extend to aviation, construction, power, road transport and other industries. We work in close partnership with our commercial customers to provide in-depth technical assistance relating to fuels and lubricants, to improve the usage of their machinery and to deliver long-term reductions in fuel and maintenance costs. We are recognised as a business partner who focuses on innovation and value improvement and who has both the willingness and ability to adapt to the changing needs of customers in every sector.” said Assi.
George Kibondwe, Vivo Energy Uganda’s Commercial Manager also noted that “For more than ten years, we have enjoyed rewarding business relationships with the Chinese business community. We have served these customers with Shell products during the construction the 126km Soroti – Lira highway, the 103km Fortportal – Bundibugyo – Lamia stretch, the soon to be launched Entebbe Express highway, as well as other major projects like the Karuma 600MW Dam construction and the Entebbe Airport Expansion.”
“We have grown to serve over 40 Chinese customers who are directly dealing with us in construction, manufacturing, hotels and restaurants. We have invested in fuel storage facilities for these customers to ensure steady supply for them to meet their project needs. These facilities are regularly maintained to ensure they are safe to use and compliant with our stringent Health and Safety standards. Over 30 Chinese customers are using our Shell fuel card services and enjoying the convenience and benefits that come with the Shell card solution.” He added.
Today in Uganda, China has been reported as the largest foreign investor. It is a significant trade partner, managing the largest projects in road construction, power generation, hospitals and communications. The investment by Chinese investors in 2017 was estimated at over $300m with an estimated 20,000 local jobs created.