MINNEAPOLIS – An ambitious $100 million project dubbed “World Trade Center Great Lakes & Kilimanjaro International” is to be built in Northern Tanzania, an official said.
Kjell Bergh, Tanzania’s Minnesota-based consul for trade and investment promotion, said three Tanzanian investors were involved in the project and would partner with the Tanzanian government.
Speaking at the Pan African Trade and Investment Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Minnesota, Bergh said 5,000 acres of land had been set aside for the project. It will have a University complex, a conference center, hotel complex, a golf course and an enterprise-processing center for exports.
About investment opportunities in Tanzania, the consul said since independence in 1961, Tanzania had gone from one of the 20 poorest countries in the world to one of the most promising. Quoting a recent African Competitiveness Report issued by Harvard University, “Tanzania topped the improvement index.”
“A recent World Bank/IMF study showed the country as the most improved in terms of business climate,” Bergh said.
The country’s committed investment in education has enabled the number of Universities in Tanzania to jump from one at independence to more than 20 today.
“The creation of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange has helped revitalize the Tanzanian economy, generating fresh capital for established and emerging firms,” Bergh said. “Between 1990 and 2005, approximately $10.2 billion in foreign direct investment helped create 3,531 projects, creating more than 500,000 direct and indirect jobs”.
In March, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and the UN Conference on Trade and Development named the Tanzania Investment Center, the one-stop investment processing facility, the best in the world. The center assists investors in dealing with all government agencies and cutting red tape.
In terms of foreign investment, $ 475 million was invested in Tanzania in 2006, mainly in the mining and tourism sectors. Direct foreign investment is projected to increase to $550 million.
Investors are assured of the safety of their investments, as Tanzania is a member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The country further enjoys a peaceful and stable democratic form of government.