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Uganda's policy reforms, industry competitiveness and regional integration: a comparison with Kenya


  • Eckhard Siggel
  • Germina Ssemogerere


The paper reviews, first, Uganda's economic policies affecting the industrial sector and analyses the international competitiveness of Uganda's manufacturing industries, using a sample of 21 firms in 12 industries. It computes indices of comparative advantage, export and domestic competitiveness and compares the Ugandan indicators with those of Kenyan firms. It also identifies the main sources and obstacles to competitiveness using a decomposition method, which breaks the unit cost indices down into their main components. The study is timely as Uganda is re-establishing a free trade zone with Kenya and Tanzania, and also faces liberalized trade with the rest of the world. The numerical results of the study suggest that Ugandan firms, although not generally cost-competitive with Kenyan and other international firms, due to the country's land-locked geography and its de-industrialization under the preceding political regimes, have benefited from a recently established business-friendly environment and are more competitive in several industries than is generally assumed. This means that they may not be able to export internationally, but they are likely to hold their ground against Kenyan imports under regional free trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhard Siggel & Germina Ssemogerere, 2004. "Uganda's policy reforms, industry competitiveness and regional integration: a comparison with Kenya," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 325-357.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:13:y:2004:i:3:p:325-357 DOI: 10.1080/0963819042000240057

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2016. "Why Do Foreign-Owned Firms Pay More? The Role of On-the-Job Training," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES AND HOST COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT Volume 53: World Scientific Studies in International Economics, chapter 3, pages 33-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Magnus Blomstrom & Robert E. Lipsey & Mario Zejan, 1992. "What Explains Developing Country Growth?," NBER Working Papers 4132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2007. "Uganda - Moving Beyond Recovery : Investment and Behavior Change, For Growth, Volume 1. Summary and Recommendations," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7576, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank, 2007. "Uganda - Moving Beyond Recovery, Investment and Behavior Change, For Growth, Volume 2, Overview," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7574, The World Bank.
    3. Obwona, Marios & Shinyekwa, Isaac & Kiiza, Julius, 2014. "The evolution of industry in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 021, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).


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