Kenya’s investments in Tanzania grow

KENYA’S investments in Tanzania have reached 1.685 million US dollars in 518 projects creating 55,762 jobs. The Executive Director of Tanzania Investment Centre, Juliet Kairuki, revealed this in Nairobi recently in Tanzania-Kenya business forum during an official state visit of President Jakaya Kikwete to Kenya.

Juliet Kairuki said, the forum was organized by Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kenya Investment Authority, Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tanzania Investment Centre.

It attracted around 200 participants including senior government officials, leaders and members of the private sector who represented various sectors particularly energy, manufacturing, education, transport and logistics, financial sector, real estate and tourism.

In his keynote remarks, President Kikwete said Kenya was not a competitor but a strategic partner to Tanzania as it ranks fifth among top 10 countries with investment in Tanzania.

President Kikwete also hailed the joint efforts to improve infrastructure between the two countries and singled out the recently launched 85 kilometre Arusha-Hoili/Taita Taveta road.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete for the advances made in Tanzania under his leadership, particularly in the area of trade, Investment and regional integration.

He pointed that friendship between Tanzania and Kenya has been strengthened by common membership of the East African Community, and the recently signed EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite Agreement.

He said that last year Kenya’s exports to Tanzania grew by 5.5 per cent noting these figure was not a true reflection of potentials that exist between the two sister countries and that Tanzania and Kenya can do better in investments and trade.

Executive Director of TIC, Juliet Kairuki used the platform to inform the Kenyan audience on government efforts to improve the business environment such as legislative reforms including the new labour law and its implication to foreign investors.

She further shared on the opportunities for investment such as 63,227ha Mkulazi agriculture farm for sugar and rice farming that is currently open for interested investors.

CEO of LAPSET Kenya also shared on the LAPSET corridor development project under Kenya Vision 2030 Strategy Framework, which is believed to be the largest Game Changer Infrastructure flagship in Kenya with infrastructure capital cost of 360 billion US dollars by 2040.

The project includes 37,000 km of Modern Highways, 30,200 km of modern Railways, 1.3 billion tons port added ton capacity and Lamu Port plan to inject new ton capacity of 23 Million tons per year by 2030.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tanzania, Mr Uledi, pointed out that infrastructure development between the two countries do complement each other rather than competing.

He said, for instance the envisaged Bagamoyo port would not be a competitor to Mombasa Port as it is designed to transport iron and steel from Mchuchuma and Liganga whereby iron and steel deposits are expected to exist for 300 years. Mr Uledi also highlighted on what has been done by the government to facilitate trade and investment including removal of Non Tariff barriers such as roadblocks.

In his remarks, CEO of Kenya vision 2030 urged Kenya and Tanzania to cooperate towards achieving their development visions Tanzania has huge potentials in gas, oil and minerals whereby Kenyans can tap through investment, he said.

Private sector associations of the two countries agreed to collaborate to convene similar forums to enumerate and work on the issues affecting business and investment between the two countries such as single tourist visa, preferential treatment and work permits.

The Kenya’s business community appreciated the positive investment and trade outlook of Tanzania and thus, showed interest to invest in real estate, agriculture, energy, education and skills development.