Ministers for Industry and Trade, Prof Kitila Mkumbo and Prof Makame Mbarawa, Minister for Works and Transport said when addressing delegates at the official launch of the Paris-based company—Aelia Duty Free shop at Terminal 3 at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.
The Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) granted permit to Lagardère Travel Retail and a local partner—Bevco Limited to operate two duty free stores at the new Terminal 3 for five years, but with an option of adding another five years.
Speaking during the event which was attended by France minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Reister who was in the country for one day official visit, Prof Mkumbo said the government’s decision to support and protect foreign investors is beneficial to the country.
“We will continue to support investors because their contribution is also beneficial and vital to our country. The presence of this shop adds a lot of value to our airport especially when we market our country as business friendly and investment destination,” said Prof Mkumbo, adding the presence of Aelia Duty Free in Dar es Salaam is a big plus in a list of companies that have invested in Tanzania.
Prof Mbarawa said: “The government will continue to respect and offer opportunities for investors generate revenues to the government, but also attract others.”
He added: “Three years back I was the project manager for this airport, it wasn’t easy but at the end of the day we had a splendid airport with a number of great opportunities. We will continue to create conducive environment for investors to put up businesses at the new Terminal 3 at JNIA and other airports countrywide.”
Earlier, the visiting French Minister, Franck Reister said the investment at JNIA is the beginning of even more partnerships in various areas including tourism.
Reister noted that for the country to enhance its tourism sector, it needs to have good airports and ports. He said the launch of the direct flights by Air France from Paris to Zanzibar demonstrates France’s commitment to continue improving its trade relations as well as investments in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
Tanzania’s recent economic reforms are a huge influencer and a serious growth driver for the region, he said.
Lagardère Travel Retail aims to support the airport company in setting new standards for retail at JNIAA featuring all core duty free categories, travel accessories, souvenirs and snacking, under the Aelia Duty Free brand.
Paul Rwegasha, director of JNIA said the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 affected the airport business due to low arrivals of international passengers by 90 per cent.
He said the situation has now improved, as the airport is now experiencing a gradual growth of passengers.
“We have now reached 50 per cent of the passengers before the pandemic,” said Rwegasha, noting they conducted an in-depth due diligence before granting the permit to the two companies.
“We found out that both companies have good records to deliver first class airport duty free services with long experiences of operating around the world,” the director added.