The Coronavirus outbreak in China has thrown the Uganda business community in downtown Kampala into panic as they expect the stock-out of goods imported from China.
China has also introduced stringent Visa conditions that traders have to fulfill before heading to China for trade.
Coronavirus has claimed more than 700 lives and left 34,000 infected in Wuyan, China. Traders have started contemplating finding alternative sources of goods should China fail to find a solution to the virus soon.
Reports indicate that Uganda imports goods from China worth $1.15b annually.
When asked what URA was anticipating in the wake of the virus, the acting head of public and corporate affairs in URA, Mr. Ian Rumanyika referred the Traders to the Ministry of Health and that of Trade.
Businessmen are now living in fear that the introduction of visa appointments at the Chinese Embassy will contribute to a lack of goods in the market because Traders going to China must book a visa appointment five months before travel and traders think this will cause a stock-out of goods.
Among which, traders must attach an invitation letter, license of factory in China and bank statements to their visa applications.
A Chinese visa used to take two to three days to get but as of today, the earliest you can get a visa appointment is May.