Tz to host Russian industrialists

12Mar 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Tz to host Russian industrialists

Pending final touches of the lobby from the Russian Federation, Tanzania is expected to host a large group of Russian industrialists and business tycoons for a mission to a country widely reputed for its vibrant and steadfast improvement in business environment.

The World Bank has identified Tanzania as one of the top 10 countries worldwide for vibrant and steadfast improvements in business environment, while Russia is a leading member of both G8 and G20, organizations uniting the world’s leading industrial nations and emerging economies respectively.

Though Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov fell short of specifying timeline of the visit mid this week, he said it would be a business mission to exploit Tanzanian market and to take part in Zimbabwe’s largest platinum deposit development project.

But Russian companies have long expressed interest to invest on the fast-growing energy sector in Tanzania. Other areas include tourism and education sectors whereby strategies to attract more Russian tourists into the country and to increase number of Tanzanian students in Russia will be developed, Kalamanova said.

Over 3,000 Tanzanians have so far received higher education in Russian universities. Trade volume between the two countries has gradually increased, though there is still a lot to be desired.

More Russian tourists are choosing Tanzania for leisure, consequently bringing about concerted efforts to bolster Russian investment interests in Tanzania, he said.

"Our next business mission to Africa is to Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Despite all difficulties, we managed to agree with our colleagues from Zimbabwe on very large projects.

We practically have a new market in Tanzania. We need to start exploring it very soon," Kalamanov was quoted as he briefed a session of the "Business Russia" committee on exports, adding there were also others spheres in store.

Efforts by the two countries to strengthen in their joint trade relations were demonstrated early last year on a Moscow tour by the-then Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe who agreed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to sign an agreement to launch the Tanzanian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation.

However, it could not be immediately established if last year’s January 16 agreement had been signed as efforts to reach the government officials for confirmation proved futile yesterday.

"Although the volume of trades between our two countries has increased to $52m for Tanzania and $60m for Russia, it is still not enough; we can do better," Membe was quoted as saying in a Moscow meeting, noting a considerable decline of trade turnouts between the two countries over the past two decades.

Lavrov who is still in office was optimistic that the commission would provide the needed platform for the two countries to conduct regular forums to facilitate trade and investment opportunities.

The last bilateral investment forum between the two countries was held in 2009.

Lt. Gen. Wynjones Kisamba, the current Tanzanian Ambassador to Russia has used the Embassy’s website to appeal to Russians to exploit available opportunities in Tanzania in exploring manifold social and economic potentials such as agriculture, mining, oil and gas, tourism, economic infrastructure, manufacturing, fisheries, banking and insurance as well as education and health.

“Largely, the current government evokes policies of the preceding administrations by putting much emphasis on encouraging international investment, private management of infrastructure and streamlining of the costs of doing business," he said.

The World Bank has identified Tanzania as one of the top 10 countries worldwide for vibrant and steadfast improvements of the business environment.

In 2005/06 positive reforms took place to streamline the process of starting a business, registering property, protecting investors and trading across borders. Since 2002, Tanzania has ranked above the median and improved its positioning in Regulatory Quality, in the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" survey.

Through Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) framework, Tanzania offers excellent incentives to export oriented investors, which include exemption from corporate tax for 10 years and exemption from withholding tax on rent, dividends and interests for the same duration.

The 54-year-old diplomatic relations between Russia and Tanzania have remained friendly stable in political, economic, social, scientific, technological and cultural areas ever since their establishment immediately after the latter’s independence.