Addressing the two-day African-Nordic ministers’ meeting in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Magufuli said that Tanzania recognizes the importance of creating a better business environment to enhance investment operations.
He said that the government has taken a number of measures to ensure that traders and investors operate smoothly, including reviewing of policies and laws, and implementation of various strategies.
The government also implements the Blueprint on Regulatory and Licensing Reform, a move which will see more laws and policies being reviewed including those governing Value Added Tax (VAT), indicative prices for imports, immigration and labour, social security and environmental management among others to attract local and international investors.
“Others include improvement of infrastructures such as roads, railway, ports and power. We have invested much in aviation and marine sector by purchasing more airplanes and ships,” he said.
He commended Nordic countries of Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland for their keen support for African countries, urging them to focus more on economic partnerships.
The theme for this year’s meeting is ‘Partnering for Sustainable Development,’ with the meeting involving the participation of 29 ministers from Nordic and African countries.
He said Nordic countries have been working on improving health, education, infrastructure, energy and various other sectors in Africa for many years.
“Cooperation between Africa and Nordic countries is historic as it started before independence. In Tanzania, they have worked a lot in improving social services and uplifting economic growth,” he said.
Nordic countries constructed the Uyole Agriculture Centre as well as the Kibaha Education Centre, under the Nordic-Tanganyika Project, he said.
President Magufuli further urged African countries to learn from Nordic countries to achieve various development goals.
Despite having a population of around 27 million, Nordic countries have a Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of $1.1 trillion while Africa which has a population of around 1.2 billon has a total GDP of US$2.33 trillion, the president intoned.
He said Africa has a number of investment opportunities with eligible land for agriculture, livestock keeping and other potentials which are yet to be fully exploited.
The meeting has brought together representatives from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana.
Other countries are Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts, Tanzania. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark are all attending the meeting.
Participants are expected to discuss investment opportunities, trade, peace and security, crosscutting issues like climate change and development partnership among individual countries.