Over 600 investors and business leaders from the 27-member European Union (EU) are lined up for a mega business forum in Dar es Salaam in February month as they seek to capitalise on Tanzania’s current pro-business policies to increase investment and trade between the East African nation and Europe.
Tanzania and the EU have been enjoying very cordial relations since President Samia Suluhu Hassan came to power in March 2021.
In February 2022, the President visited the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium where, during a meeting with the President of the European Commission, Ersula Von der Leyen, it was revealed that Tanzania would receive 425 million Euros over a period of 3 years to fund projects related to strengthening digitisation, promoting gender equality and green cities.
Upon returning from the trip to Belgium and France, President Hassan said in Dar es Salaam that apart from the 425 million Euros, Tanzania would also secure a €178 million concessional loan for the bus rapid transit (BRT) project from France.
In March 2022, the EU head of delegation to Tanzania, Mr Manfredo Fanti, revealed 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 the move would foster Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows.
In its 2022 EU Investment in Tanzania Report 2022, the EU said in March 2022 that investors were cautiously optimistic that statements by the president would be translated into tangible actions over the short to mid-term.
Going by the report, the EU’s exports to Tanzania were valued at €856 million in 2021, while imports stood at €456 million.
Some 100 companies from the EU have invested in the country, creating an estimated 151,000 jobs, according to the report that was jointly prepared by the EU Delegation and the European Business Group (EUBG).
And, speaking in Dar es Salaam on 23rd January, Mr Fanti said this first-ever EU business forum comes at a time when Tanzania was effectively implementing its economic diplomacy policy.
“There have been a number of positive signals from the government to the private sectors with regard to a framework for business and there are expectations for legal and regulatory reforms in order to improve the sector. We therefore thought this is the right moment to do this kind of an event,” he said.
EU head of cooperation, Mr Cédric Merel said the forum responds to the strong request of President Samia Suluhu Hassan who called for more investments in the country.