THE European Union (EU) has pledged to continue supporting Tanzania in its efforts to improve the business and investment climate in Tanzania, including attracting more investors from EU countries to invest in the country.
Head of EU Delegation to Tanzania, Manfred Fanti expressed the commitment on Friday in Dodoma when he met Minister of State in the President's Office (Investment), Prof Kitila Mkumbo for discussions on investment matters of mutual interest.
"I have heard testaments of many European investors on how Tanzania presents a worthwhile return on investment, and I must say that as the Head of the European Union Delegation in Tanzania, it is my sole responsibility to ensure that I continue to work closely with the government to safeguard the existing interests of these investors and attract even more investors to come invest in Tanzania" said Ambassador Fanti.
He acknowledged efforts being made by the government in creating good investment climate, saying such efforts must be supported wholeheartedly.
"Many European countries commend ongoing efforts by the fifth phase government under the leadership of President Dr John Magufuli in improving the legal, policy and institutional frameworks to create a friendlier environment that will attract more new investors and encourage existing ones to expand their investment," said the EU's top diplomat in the country.
"EU countries pledge to continue supporting the government in that respect," he further expressed.
During the talks, Prof Mkumbo and the envoy also discussed specific areas of cooperation in which Tanzania and the EU could further promote investment cooperation, such as textile and mining industries; livestock and fisheries products, processing, energy production and distribution among others.
The Minister seized the opportunity to highlight some strategic policy areas that the government in collaboration with various stakeholders has prioritised for implementation, including the preparation and implementation of the National Investment Strategy, implementation of the Government Roadmap for Improvement of Business Environment and Investment Climate in Tanzania (ROADMAP) and preparation of a comprehensive investment data framework.
He welcomed the EU and other development partners to cooperate with the government in the areas, in order to, among other things, systematically address all challenges facing foreign investors in the country.
In a related event, Prof Mkumbo also held talks with Ms Lianne Houben, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands in Tanzania, during which they discussed priority areas for improvement in order to promote Dutch investment in Tanzania.
Some of the areas discussed include further improving a framework for receiving and addressing investors related issues, as well as addressing the skills gap issue to meet investors' specific professional and technical skills requirements.
The Netherlands is a key investment partner to Tanzania, with Dutch companies investing in various sectors, such as financial services, general industries, transportation, etc.
Notable, Dutch companies with presence in Tanzania include the NMB Bank, Unilever, Heineken, KLM and Shell. Statistics show that approximately 161 investment projects from the Netherlands are registered with the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) with a total investment capital of US $ 1.1 billion, providing about 13,995 direct jobs in Tanzania.