This was revealed last week by Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali, while handing over a donation of an executive van and partition screens to the acting minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, at the ministry?s headquarters in Kampala.

Yali said Foton has already acquired land in Namanve and work is ongoing at the plant site.

Andrew Kavuma, Foton East Africa Uganda?s national marketing manager, told New Vision that upon completion, the plant will provide employment to more than 300 people.

?In the initial stage, 300 people will get employment in various departments including engineering, finance, sales, marketing and Information Technology. We already have an assembling plant in Nairobi, Kenya sitting on a 10-acre piece of land with branches in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Malindi. Now we have got a solution for African car market. Our cars are affordable and of high quality,? said Kavuma.

However, Kavuma was noncommittal on the timeframe when the Namanve plant will be complete.

The car maker has a showroom in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb.

Foton was officially launched in Uganda in June 2013. The firm?s parent company headquartered in Changping District, Beijing, manufactures commercial vehicles like light trucks and minibuses.

Yali expressed confidence that Foton car plant will provide a better choice for Ugandans.

Oryem described the relationship between China and Uganda as exceptionally great and at its best moment.

?We thank the Chinese government for the support they are giving not only to Uganda but the whole East African region to develop infrastructure in the northern corridor.

Minister of Works, John Byabagambi, is on a tour to sensitize people who stay along the route where the standard gauge railway will be constructed from Malaba via Gulu to Nimule,? said Oryem.

Oryem said the standard gauge railway is the most expensive project Uganda has undertaken since independence.

Yali said China will continue to do her best on the basis of mutual benefit and equality to assist Uganda, adding the cooperation is important for attainment of Vision 2040.

By Alfred Wandera, The New Vision


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