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Tanzania eyes trade boost with Turkey

Tanzania eyes trade boost with Turkey

TANZANIA is ready to host Turkish investors to invest in various sectors especially in industries, blue economy, agriculture and tourism.

Zanzibar’s Minister for Trade and Industrial Development Mr Omar Shaaban told a meeting at the just ended Turkey-Africa Economic Business Forum (TAEBF) which opened at Istanbul Convention Centre (ICC) in Istanbul, Turkey that the country has undertaken major reforms for the purpose of creating conducive investment opportunities.

“I can explicitly tell the Turkish business community that Tanzania is ready to host Turkish investors to invest in various key sectors in our economy. I hope Turkish businessmen and women will consider investing more in our country.

With an estimated population 60 million people, Tanzania is a large market in its own right and also as a member of the East African Community (EAC), a market of 177 million people as well as Southern African Development Community (SADC)…investing in Tanzania gives one a gate way to reach out to EAC and SADC market with a population of over 345 million people,” he said.

Minister Shaaban further said that the recently signed and ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will position Tanzania to the largest continental trade area of over 1.3 billion market population.

“I’m here to assure you that we will do all we can to make it possible and profitable for you to invest in Tanzania. The interest of our government is like your interests and the two can be mutually reinforced.

You need fair returns of your investments and we are in need of potential and successful investments that impart knowledge and skills, create jobs for our people and generate revenue for our government,” he insisted.

Elaborating, he described investment opportunities available in some key sectors of Tanzania’s economy as tourism, adding that the country has abundant potential with vast beaches and national parks. Mr Shaaban said there has been consistent annual average growth rate of around 10 per cent of tourist arrivals.

“This provides good prospects for investors in the sector. We invite investors to build new hotels, and recreational centres and also invite Turkey people to visit Tanzania,” he said.

The minister also said Zanzibar’s strategic geographic position give it comparative advantage in harnessing the benefit of sea based economy---blue economy.

He said the Isles government has formulated a policy in the context of blue economy. The policy covers sustainable use of the Sea, Coast and other water bodies as well as related resources including underground and undersea waters for special economic development, while the country remain mindful of environmental protection.

In implementation of this policy, he said, five priority areas have been defined which are; fishing and aquacultures, maritime trade and infrastructure, energy, tourism as well as marine development.

“Investing in these areas will bring rich rewards for the investors, while contributing to the country’s development,” he said.

Industrial sector is another area readily available for investment, the minister said, with the country requiring additional capital and technology.

He said investors from Turkey can explore areas such as food processing for local market and for export, electrical equipment, ICT, pharmaceutical industries, beverages, textiles and other fast moving consumer goods.

“We also welcome investors in integrated modern farming and livestock keeping projects including ranching. We invite investors to put up large scale farms for food and cash crops, flowers and vegetables.

In addition, we welcome investors in agroprocessing to add value to our agricultural products and reduce post-harvest loss due to perishability. We also seek investors to create jobs, transfer knowledge, experience, skills and technology as well as to increase government revenue for social economic development,” he said.

On investing in labour force, the minister said the government is fully aware that Tanzania’s ability to participate in global market will require that the country invest substantially in labour force to raise the average standard of education of its people.

The third edition of the forum was officially closed on Friday by Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Turkey aims to nearly double its bilateral trade volume with Africa from last year’s $25.3 billion to $50 billion, and later raise this even further to $75 billion, the country’s president said on Friday.

“Sincere ties between Turkey and African countries will grow stronger,” Erdogan stressed.

The two-day forum, which covers topics including the partnership between the two sides, as well as collaboration in agriculture, pandemic measures, and innovation, began on Thursday in the Turkish metropolis Istanbul.

Erdogan recalled that Turkey’s investments on the continent have exceeded $6 billion so far and that Turkish contractors have assumed more than 1,150 projects, such as bridges and roads, worth over $70 billion in Africa.

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Author: NASONGELYA KILYINGA in Istanbul

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