by Ben Taylor
February saw the maiden Tanzania-EU Business Forum in Dar es Salaam, bringing together over 600 business leaders from the EU and representatives of the Tanzanian government and business community.
Speaking at the event, Tanzania’s Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango, invited investors from the 27 EU member states to explore untapped investment and business opportunities in Tanzania. He cited potential areas for investment as agriculture and agro-processing for value addition of local farm produce, as well as tourism, energy, mining, real estate, transport and logistics.
Dr Mpango, also a former Finance Minister, assured delegates of a conducive environment for trade and investment. “Just last year, the government repealed the Investment Act of 1997 and enacted new legislation that offers more incentives to strategic investors,” he said, adding that Tanzania is among the fastest growing economies in the sub-Saharan Africa at present.
At the same event, Dr Mpango urged Tanzanian businesspersons to also explore and take advantage of investment and trade opportunities in the EU.
Tanzania and the EU have been enjoying more cordial relations since President Samia Suluhu Hassan came to power in March 2021. In February 2022, the President visited the European Commission (EC) headquarters in Brussels and met with Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen. Shortly after this meeting, the EU head of delegation to Tanzania, Mr Manfredo Fanti, stated that investors in the 27-member European bloc were happy with initiatives that the East African nation was taking to improve its business climate, saying this would foster increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows.
According to the 2022 EU Investment in Tanzania Report 2022, imports to Tanzania from the EU were valued at €856 million in 2021, representing 12% of Tanzania’s imports, while exports stood at €456 million (10%). The report, which was jointly prepared by the EU Delegation and the European Business Group (EUBG), also found that over 100 companies from the EU have invested in the country, creating an estimated 151,000 jobs.