The first ever Tanzania-European Union (EU) Business Forum took place on 23 – 24 February 2023 in Dar-es-Salaam, raising 1 billion EUR investment in Tanzania.The forum was attended by over 1,100 participants, 60% of whom were from the EU and Tanzanian private sector, and the rest being from the Government of Tanzania, EU embassies and financial institutions. High-level representatives from the EU included French State Minister for external trade, Mr. Olivier Becht, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Ms. Helena König, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Thomas Östros, and Director for Sustainable Finance of the European Commission – International Partnerships, Mr. Antti Karhunen.
During two-days meeting, the Tanzania-EU Business Forum showcased the comparative advantage for EU businesses to invest in Tanzania. It presented various opportunities for investment, facilitated discussions among business peers, government officials and political leaders of both Tanzania and the EU and provided a platform for effective private-public dialogue to further improve the business environment.
The Business Forum was also a stepping stone for the roll-out of the Global Gateway, the EU strategic external investment package, that aims to support a strong, inclusive and sustainable growth by accelerating the green transition, the digital transformation and decent jobs creation. During those two days, governments officials and companies CEOs from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar discussed with representatives of Team Europe – EU, its Member States, European Financial Institutions and of course EU private sector – how to realise Tanzanian strategic vision for development and the expected contribution of the Global Gateway.
The Business Forum, officially opened byH.E. Dr. Philip Mango, Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and closed byH.E. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, was coveredby 87 representatives of national and European media houses. And within the two days, Team Europe announced close to 1 billion euros (2.5 trillion Tanzanian Shillings) of investments to Tanzania.
In his closing remarks, H.E. Manfredo Fanti, Ambassador of the EU to Tanzania and the East African Community, summarised the findings of the different discussions, highlighting that, following recent improvements in the business environment and the launch of the EU Global Gateway strategy, conditions are conducive for investing “now” in Tanzania. He also reported the importance of focusing on skills development, digital technologies and access to energy, supported by effective partnerships between public and private actors. Such issues will be followed up as the Tanzania-EU engagement will continue. Work is under way to prepare roadmaps in selected priority sectors with a view to more in-depth public-private dialogues.
Also, smaller and more targeted Tanzania-EU Business Forums are being considered, for example on Energy or Blue Economy, given the interest expressed during the Business Forum.