21 September 2013

Tanzania: Kikwete Allays Fears of U.S. Investors Over China

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has said the presence of Chinese business firms would not affect or interfere with the operations of American business companies wishing to invest in Tanzania.

"China is among the leading countries supporting development projects in Tanzania and the presence of business companies from China is minimal and therefore does not pose a threat to American business companies," said Mr Kikwete in a press statement issued on Friday by the Directorate of Presidential Communications.

The United Kingdom is the leading investor in Tanzania while China currently ranks tenth. President Kikwete made the clarification in Washington DC during an official address together with the Chairperson of the US Mini-Foreign Affairs and Development Budget Committee.

During the session the president was asked to clarify on the possible influence to the American business companies in Tanzania by the presence and operation of Chinese companies.

"I would like to assure you that there is no interference by the presence of Chinese companies in Tanzania, as China ranks number ten in the list of foreign countries investment in Tanzania. The United Kingdom is leading followed by Kenya, India and South Africa," Mr Kikwete said.

He reiterated the commitment by the government of China in supporting development projects in Tanzania but so pronounced in business companies investment.

"China built the Tanzania Zambia Railway line (TAZARA), they (the Chinese) built the national stadium and are currently engaged in the establishment of a natural gas pipeline between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam.

China will also build the envisaged Port of Bagamoyo. All these are development projects," Mr Kikwete explained. He said Tanzania receives development support from China and other countries and the Asian economic giant extends such support, not only to Tanzania but to many other countries.

"Perhaps, USA business companies should fear the UK in terms of investment," he said. Meanwhile, President Kikwete has conveyed message of condolence to the US government and Congress, following the assassination of 12 people by a reservist aged 34 at a US Marine Camp in Washington, D.C early this week.

"On behalf of my government, the people of Tanzania and my own behalf, accept my condolences following the tragic event that claimed the lives of innocent people," he said.

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