6 October 2012

Tanzania: Kikwete in Pact to Woo Investors

Ottawa — TANZANIA can expect more investments from Canada following the conclusion of negotiations toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between the two countries.

President Jakaya Kikwete and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced this during a joint press conference here on Thursday.

Mr Kikwete hailed the deal, saying it would encourage more investments from Canada and boost the country's economy.

He said the potential for increased Canadian investment in Tanzania is important, especially in the mining, oil and gas, power infrastructure, mining equipment and services, and transport sectors.

Once implemented, the President added, the Canada-Tanzania FIPA will facilitate investment flow, contributing to job creation and economic growth in both countries.

"Our government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and to creating the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete internationally. "This new agreement with Tanzania will encourage investment between our two countries and better-protect Canadians that do business in Tanzania," said the Prime Minister.

Since 2006, Canada has concluded or brought into force FIPAs with 13 countries, and is in active negotiations with 13 others.

Meanwhile, President Kikwete said the country has an investment code, which all investors have to subscribe to, noting that whoever meets the conditionalities is eligible. He however noted that democracy is not part of the investment code. Mr Kikwete was responding to a journalist who had asked the president to comment how Tanzania handles investment proposals from companies that originate in countries, like China, that do not share Tanzania's democratic values.

"It surprises me because it is the major democratic economies of the West that are major investors in China. I think I've said it all," remarked Mr Kikwete, adding that he had been to China and visited a number of factories there.

"I visited a Toyota plant that manufactures 600,000 cars and they were telling me that they have three of those plants in China. At Tianjin, I saw Canadian flags, American flags, European flags.

So what is this question all about?" In another development, Mr Kikwete took part in a tree planting and wreath laying ceremonies here and then paid courtesy calls to Speaker of the Senate - Noel Kinsella and Speaker of the House of Commons-Andrew Scheer.

Mr Kikwete also attended a business roundtable organised by the Canadian Council on Africa and met with African Heads of Mission based here. Mr Kikwete flew to Edmonton later in the evening to grace Tanzanian Diaspora meeting scheduled for yesterday.

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