In 2017, according to Rand Merchant Bank Holdings (RMB) annual report, Egypt ranked as the top investment destination in Africa for 2018, dislodging its fellow competitor South Africa then for the first time in seven years. Morocco, Ethiopia, and Ghana fell behind in the pecking order but remained on the top spot.
Now, Tanzania emerged as an exciting prospect for Egyptian investors who toured the country a few days ago. The East African nation has battled for foreign investors with Ethiopia, which is considered now Africa's top investment destination, Rwanda and Kenya also proving to be competitive. However, the business reformations in the country are placing the nation on the pedestal of investment.
Egyptian traders are excited about the investment opportunities in Tanzania and have made inquiries on establishing their empires as soon as possible. According to the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), director for investment, promotion, and facilitation Mr. James Maziku the investors loom to explore business opportunities in agro-processing, textile and construction materials.
Another impressing attribute was the strategic and geographical location of the country surrounded by other East African Community (EAC) countries that offer them a bigger market for the expansion of their operations in the region. Bordering Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, it acts as a gateway to these greener pastures.
The Egyptian investors are keen to launch their ventures into Southern African Development Community (SADC) through Tanzania. The potential harnessed in Tanzania could propel the growth of their businesses to open branches in the SADC countries as they stretch their dominance as well in the continent.
Mr. Maziku encouraged the businessmen there are various advantages as to why they should invest in the country especially with the number of industrial parks, EPZs, and raw materials. Looking at the performance of the EPZA enterprises between 2013 and 2017, over 30,000 employment opportunities were created. Also, the earnings went up by 12.6 percent for the year ending July 2017 from 2016 to register $1.34 billion from $1.19 billion. 43 percent of the 160 registered companies in the EPZA zone constitute of foreign firms as local businesses make for 12 percent while the remaining include joint ventures.
As President John Magufuli continue to implore foreign investors to seize the business opportunities in the country, which the necessary adjustments in the regulatory framework to build a conducive business environment, the business incentives will surely lure more businesses to the nation.
Infrastructure improvements such as electricity and water would impress investors, as their availability and reliability will narrow down their operations cost. Egyptian investments will stir Egypt - Tanzania trade relations.