Tanzania: Government Moves to Calm Chinese Investors

Dodoma — The government is set to meet Chinese investors as latest data shows that the Asian giant has overtaken the UK to become the leading investor in Tanzania.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s (Investment), Ms Angellah Kairuki, told Parliament yesterday that a meeting between Chinese investors and government officials would be held next Wednesday. The meeting would centre on challenges Chinese investors were facing in the country.

Official data from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), which is under the Prime Minister’s Office, shows that China had a total of 723 projects valued at $5.963 billion (about Sh14 trillion) as of 2017. The investments created a total of 87,126 jobs between 1990 and 2017.

China was followed by the UK, which invested in 936 projects worth a total of $5.54 billion (about Sh13 trillion) in Tanzania during the same period.

The US was third with investments worth $4.721 billion (about Sh11 trillion).

Ms Kairuki told Parliament that the government was aware of the various challenges investors have been encountering, and the plan to hold talks with Chinese investors was part of wider efforts to address the matter.

She was responding to a question posed by Dr Raphael Chegeni (Busega-CCM), who sought to know what the government was doing to address challenges impeding investment in the country.

Ms Kairuki, who was moved to the Investment docket from the Minerals ministry in a cabinet reshuffle in January, said the government was doing everything within its power to improve Tanzania’s business environment.

“We want to have in place good policies and a friendly regulatory framework to attract more investors,” she said.

Challenges Chinese investors face in Tanzania could not be immediately outlined yesterday, but some Chinese officials and businesspeople have been quoted saying differences in the education systems in the two countries were a major obstacle.

Last August, a representative from the Chinese embassy in Dar es Salaam, Mr Yuan Lin, told an Association of Tanzania Employers meeting that the system of assessing people’s skills based on their academic certificates was flawed. He said at the meeting attended by members of the Chinese business community and public officials that since China was following a system where a person’s education is measured by one’s ability to perform a job, work permit applications submitted by most of his compatriots were rejected in Tanzania.

Mr Yuan also spoke about what he said were high import duties in Tanzania, stringent laws governing the hiring of foreigners, long procedures associated with acquiring residence and work permits, an inadequate transport network and unskilled local workers.


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Publish date : 2019-04-10 14:54:47

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