Minister Kairuki lures Shandong investors to exploit tourism

10Sep 2019
Francis Kajubi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Minister Kairuki lures Shandong investors to exploit tourism

A high powered Chinese business delegation from Shandong province has been invited to invest in the country’s prime sectors which include tourism, agro-processing, construction and manufacturing as they offer maximum rate of returns.

Members of the Shandong business delegation listening to presentations made by government officials led by Investments Minister in PMO’s, Angela Kairuki in Dar es Salaam last week. Photo: Francis Kajubi.

Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Investment, Angela Kairuki told a delegation of 80 elite business people and state officials from Shandong in China that the government is offering better investment climate with fiscal incentives to private investors.

Kairuki said apart from the mentioned sectors, the country also gives better rate of returns to investors in agriculture, fisheries and livestock development especially processing of livestock products for both domestic and export markets.

“Tourism is the fastest growing industry which in 2018 contributed 17.2 percent of gross domestic product but we still have more room for growth such as construction of five-star hotels,” she said adding that for the past five years foreign tourism arrivals have been relentlessly on the increase from less than a million to close to two million now.

She said agriculture and agro-processing are also lucrative areas to invest because similarly the rate of return is high as demand for commodities and processed agro-products locally and in the region, is on a spiraling trend.

“Manufacturing of packaging materials is another key area that needs strong investment as currently we are lacking enough factors to make such material while demand in on the increase,” the Investment Minister added as the country grapples with a ban imposed on plastic bags last June.

She assured the delegation that President John Magufuli’s government is pro-business and has crackdown against bureaucracy in public offices which has often frustrated investors. Kairuki further noted that in order to boost industrial investments, President Magufuli’s administration is investing in the over 2,000 megawatts Rufiji Hydro-electric Power Project for cheap reliable power supply.

Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega assured the Shandong tycoons that investments are badly needed on Lake Victoria and along the Indian Ocean coastline both of which have huge fish stocks and other aquatic life potential valued at billions of shillings.

“On average, a Tanzanian household consume between 8 and 15 kilograms of fish in a year but Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations suggest that a person must consume at least 50kgs of fish per annum. So we need more investment for fish processing from the lakes and the deep sea,” Ulega said.

He also said there is massive untapped potential in livestock industry with the country among the top three African countries having large numbers of livestock much of whose products are wasted instead of being processed.

Tanzania Investment Centre’s Investment Promotion Manager for Foreign Trade, Abubakar Ndwata said Tanzania is targeting to become a semi industrialized and middle income economy by 2025 and has been growing sustainably at between 6 and 7.1 percent for the past five years.

“Investors who are coming to Tanzania through the TIC are entitled to several incentives that include zero import duty on capital goods with a minimum capital of U$500,000 for foreign investors,” Ndwata told the Chinese business tycoons and state officials from the Asian nation’s third largest province in terms of gross domestic product which last year grossed over U$1.17 trillion.

He said as of June this year, China was among the top investors in the country with a portfolio of over U$5.96 billion in 745 projects creating over 87,000 jobs.

Earlier, briefing the delegation which visited Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA)’s Benjamin William Mkapa Industrial Park in Dar es Salaam, EPZA Director General, Joseph Simbakalia said the country strongly needs more Chinese investments.

“Shandong is a leading province in China for production and processing of goods for the export market, so you have an interest to invest in Tanzania,” Simbakalia told the delegation while stressing that all opportunities available at EPZA are available to the Shandong investors.

Lyu Wei, Deputy Director General of the Department of Commerce in Shandong Province and the head of delegation said the Chinese delegation is willing to invest in the country and that’s the reason behind their decision to come and learn about available opportunities.

“Shandong is a third rich province in China with a population of 100 million and a GDP contribution of U$1.16 trillion as the end of 2018,” Wei said while pointing out that strong bilateral ties existing between Beijing and Dar es Salaam have encouraged them to choose Tanzania as a better investment destination.