Tanzania: Suluhu, Kenyatta Pledge Full Support to Investors, Traders

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan and her host, President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday assured the business communities that their governments will provide full support and cooperation to them, and in turn enhance investments' growth in the two nations.

Speaking during the highlevel business forum that was attended by high profile traders and investors from Tanzania and Kenya, President Samia said her government has created good environment for them in the country for their activities to flourish.

She said Tanzania has taken concrete measures to strengthen infrastructures including roads, railways, airports and marine transport, which altogether are designed to facilitate trade and boost investment in the country.

"Tanzania is ready to receive investors from Kenya, our doors are opened for consultation and our hands are opened ready to cooperate with you," further said President Samia.

The Head of State noted that both countries need strong private sectors, which are key in driving economic growth, creating jobs, transforming the labour market and opening up various opportunities.

"These aspects can only be realised if businesses are operating in good environments, the two governments are responsible in creating such environment with the focus on facilitating the growth of the private sector and businesses in general," she pointed out.

Equally, she asserted that for years the government of Tanzania has been working to undertake reforms and improve the business as well as aninvestment climate, adding: "Tanzania has been making reforms and reviewing its laws and policies with the aim of improving trade and creating an opportunity for more investors to come and set up businesses in the country.

"We are currently undertaking reviews on tariffs and non-tariff measures guided by Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms to Improve Tanzanian Business Environment. "Therefore, I urge the business communities from Tanzania and Kenya to exploit this opportunity, we need to exchange skills, work together and look for capital whenever is possible."

The Head of State further said trade relations and levels between Tanzania and Kenya are not in good order as expected, adding that the business forum must be used as an opportunity to open a new page of relations and improving business networks. On his part, President Uhuru stressed that Tanzania and Kenya should not compete in trade, but work together to improve trade and investment between the two countries.

He said moving together will help in creating jobs and generating funds, which provide required social services and promote social welfare.

Elaborating, the Kenyan Head of State said Tanzanian businesspersons are allowed to enter and invest in Kenya without restrictions, but would only be required to adhere to Kenyan laws. Mr Uhuru through the forum ordered the relevant authorities to clear the barriers that have prevented the flow of trade at borders between Tanzania and Kenya.

"I know you intend to have a meeting in four weeks, but there are things that cannot wait any longer. So make sure in the coming two weeks maize consignments at the borders are cleared," he said.

He added: "I believe we have a common desire that is to promote and support investors and traders, this is in line with this forum's theme that is 'Promoting trade, tourism and investment between Tanzania and Kenya within the East Africa Community (EAC) customs union framework'," he said.

Flashing back to preindependence days, President Uhuru said Tanzania continues to be a key partner of Kenya in many areas from security, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, finance, trade of manufactured goods and business in general.

He said EAC through the customs union and common market, protocol has opened up borders and unlocked opportunities for the free movement of goods, services and investment across EAC borders.

Trade between the two counties has thrived but it has yet to reach the expected level.

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