Friday, August 14, 2015

Winning new investment in East Africa

Tanzania Mines Gas and Oil Company Limited, we view trade agreements as a key plank in our plan to see growth and new jobs beyond the mining boom; a critical part of our microeconomic reform agenda in East Africa especially Tanzania where reform is not easy.

If we look at China alone, last year, 100 million Chinese travelled abroad yet by 2020, that figure is expected to double.

This enormous scale of demand presents incredible opportunities but also real challenges such as the ongoing need for major investment in quality tourism infrastructure – hotels, integrated resorts and other attractions – to help cater for increasingly discerning visitors in East Africa.

Harnessing our resources potential along with our other areas of strength such as food and agribusiness aligns with the Government’s trade and investment agenda. Already we have concluded Free Trade with Korea, Japan and China is what would be the world’s largest regional trade deal in East Africa.

For many people, innovation is something intangible, yet it is within the power of everyone to innovate. The role of government is to create an environment that fosters an endless search for improvement in whatever we do.

The true strength of Tanzania and East Africa in General is the potent combination of the old and the new sectors, growing and developing together. It is in our great, traditional primary industries agriculture, mining, energy that we often see examples of technological innovation.

The most innovative and resilient economies are countries that focus on their strengths and don't waste precious resources, skills and focus propping up industries that other countries are better placed to do well. These principles are fundamental to seeing private sector-led growth, driven by trade, investment and higher productivity.

East Africa especial Tanzania has produced a long list of important commercial breakthroughs including in resource and water management, and environmental technologies.

The fruits of trade agreements are not the result of some government-to-government exchange.  They’re about this government saying to our industries, our businesses big and small, our farmers, our service providers and all the people they employ, right across our great country ‘we are on your side’. We back you.  We trust you to get out there, follow your own visions and succeed.

The only thing that’s will change the East Africa Trade, is a recognition of the critical complementary role of investment to boosting our trade performance.  When it comes to encouraging investment in our economy, East Africa has to work harder now than we’ve done at any time so far this century.
Growth in China’s business investment is expected to slow further as the economy rebalances from investment-driven growth towards greater domestic consumption – which in turn will dampen the rate of growth in commodity demand.

We can’t rest on our laurels and expect the allure of Tanzania natural endowments in resources to do all the heavy lifting

We’ve got to focus on making Tanzania and East Africa more attractive destination for investment, in a way we haven’t had to do for many a year.

That’s why – as Managing Director of Tanzania Mines, Gas and Oil Company Limited – I’ve spent as much time listening to major investors, as I have spent in meetings with my overseas Trade counterparts.  I’ve conducted 3 investment roundtables across 3 countries over the last months.
It’s why I’ve focused the efforts of the Investment Department Division, on a few simple things to assist the local company in identifying new business opportunities and making investments to back them in East Africa

We’ve partner with abroad companies, university to know how we will do it together and exchange knowledge of technology in resources sector.
We’ve attracted private sector expertise into East Africa in five investment priority areas of Food & Agribusiness, Resources & Energy, Tourism Infrastructure, Economic Infrastructure and Advanced Manufacturing, Services & Technology.

But Today I want to tell you that Services are the future, when I speak of services people think of financial and legal services. But services cover dozens, if not hundreds of other areas of expertise including: architecture and design, engineering, environmental services, transport and logistics, IT, tourism and hospitality through to healthcare aged care, education and vocational training; the list goes on.

To fully capitalise on the opportunities, especially with services, will require the next revolution in Tanzania business practice – both large and small; namely a preparedness to establish a physical presence in one or several of the emerging markets within our region.
This might be the challenge to the next President Tanzania but for every where we look their is work to be done to develop Tanzania and East Africa Economy in General.
I see further substantial scope for partnerships and collaboration, investment partnerships, knowledge partnerships, business and ideas across East Africa.

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