Majaliwa urges Vietnamese investors to trust Tanzania

10Mar 2016
Felister Peter
The Guardian
Majaliwa urges Vietnamese investors to trust Tanzania

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday assured the Vietnam business community that Tanzania is the best investment destination as the country has a conducive business environment, stable regime as well as political and macroeconomic stability.

Vietnamese President Ruong Tang San addresses members of the business community in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Right is the Chairman of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Dr. Reginald Mengi.

The Premier said Tanzania had all the factors that investors require, including an educated labour force, big market and a facilitative government.

Majaliwa was speaking in Dar es Salaam during the second Tanzania—Vietnam Business Forum that coincides with a three-day official visit by Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang.

The forum was organised by the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

The PM said there were abundant untapped investment opportunities in the country, mentioning oil and gas, livestock, tourism, agriculture and agro processing as some of the sectors that investors could target.

He said there were many opportunities in fishing and fish processing as the country has a territorial sea of 64,000 square km, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covering 223,000 square km and 1,424 km coastline along the Indian Ocean.

“Tanzania’s demand for meat is expected to triple by 2030 as more than 700 metric tonnes of quality meat is imported annually. Less than five per cent of produced hides are processed to leather,” said Majaliwa.

He also noted that there were untapped opportunities in the energy sector that included power generation, transmission and distribution.

He said investment in the sector was crucial as the country’s energy demand was expected to grow by five per cent and 8.5 per cent each year for the next five years.

“Our laws have been revised to allow the private sector to actively participate in the industry,” he noted.

He said Vietnamese investors should consider Tanzania their next investment destination on agriculture and agro-processing as the country has 43 million hectares of arable land of which 1 million is irrigable.

He said value addition was encouraged through establishment of processing and packaging facilities for agricultural crops for the domestic and export market.

The PM noted that various economic reforms in the past ten years have largely contributed to the rapid growth of GDP, low inflation and a stable foreign exchange position.

He said the average GDP growth rate was 7 per cent while inflation dropped to 5.3 per cent in June 2015 compared to 16 per cent and 8 per cent in 2012 and 2013.

Addressing the forum, Vietnam President Truong Tang Sang stressed that economic and trade relations between the two countries would remain intact, saying long term programmes were needed to realise the targeted goals.

Sang said that agriculture, trade and communications should be the core areas of cooperation as Halotel has so far opened the doors.

“Tanzania is among a few countries that cooperate with Vietnam in doing business. We are ready to export and import key products from Tanzania,” President Sang noted.

Adding that to enhance cooperation there should be a stable exchange of business information between the two countries.

Earlier, TPSF chairman, Dr Reginald Mengi, said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between TPSF and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) will pave the way for closer collaboration in many areas such as ensuring ease of access to and sharing information.

Dr Mengi said the MoU will deal with identifying obstacles inhibiting the expansion of economic cooperation and recommend ways and means of their removal to respective governments.

“Tanzania is ready for business and ready to partner with their counterparts in Vietnam.

The government is accelerating efforts to create a sustainable friendly business environment to ensure the private sector enjoys a favourable investment climate and protection of their interests,” said the TPSF boss.

According to Mengi, trade between the two countries has remained modest and has failed to meet its potential.

He said in 2009 the trade volume between Tanzania and Vietnam was USD 30-40 million annually while in 2010 it stood at USD 100 million a year.

He said in 2013, trade between the two countries reached USD 105 million.

The TPSF boss added that import and export trading amongst the two countries consists of rice, clinker, cotton and cashew nuts.
President Sang will leave the country on Friday and proceed to Maputo—Mozambique.