Dar seeks to attract more FDI from UK, Ireland

THROUGH economic diplomacy, Tanzania is actively pursuing increased foreign direct investments (FDI) and capital from the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland.

Tanzania’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Mbelwa Kairuki, disclosed this during a recent meeting with diaspora members.

He urged the diaspora to use their creativity to tap into a market comprising about five million Africans with innovative and affordable products.

While Tanzania aims to attract FDIs from the UK and Ireland, the country remains committed to exploring new market opportunities for local manufacturers, according to the envoy.

The country’s 13th envoy to the UK revealed that Tanzania anticipates signing a deal with the UK before the upcoming UK-African Investment Summit (UK-AIS) next year to allow local honey processors access the European market.

“To foster business growth, we are determined to exploit market opportunities available in the UK and Ireland,” emphasised the High Commissioner.

Another key agenda in Tanzania’s economic diplomacy policy is attracting more tourists from these countries to visit local tourist destinations.

On this, Mbwelwa stressed Tanzania’s determination to boost the tourism sector, making the UK and Ireland crucial markets.

He noted that locals are missing out on various learning opportunities in the UK, including Chevening Scholarship programmes as he advised the diaspora to turn the challenge into opportunity by establishing online programmes to help Tanzanians understand how to access them.

Addressing this concern, the envoy mentioned that Tanzania has initiated an annual UK-Tanzania students’ conference in UK and Ireland’s universities with many Tanzanian students.

The first event is set to take place at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on October 14th next year.

The Commissioner added that through Tanzania’s new foreign policy, which focuses on economic diplomacy, the country is set to benefit in other areas such as research, ICT, emerging technologies, the internet of things and health.

According to the latest factsheet from the UK’s Department of Business and Trade, the total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Tanzania reached £441 million (approximately 1.34tri/-) in the four quarters ending Q2 2023, marking a 54.2 per cent increase.

UK exports to Tanzania amounted to £242 million in the same period, an increase of 17.5 per cent (£36 million) compared to the four quarters ending Q2 2022.

UK imports from Tanzania totaled £199 million in the four quarters ending Q2 2023, indicating a 148.7 per cent increase (£119 million) in current prices compared to the four quarters ending Q2 2022.

Tanzania was the UK’s 116th largest trading partner, accounting for less than 0.1 per cent of total UK trade in the four quarters ending Q2 2023.

In 2021, the outward stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UK in Tanzania was £34 million.

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