DAR ES SALAAM, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Tuesday warned officials who frustrated investors wishing to do business in the east African nation, saying he will deal with them accordingly.
The president said that officials dealing various sectors including environment, occupational safety and immigration should not frustrate investors who are willing to do business in the country.
"Any official who will be implicated frustrating investors should be reported directly to my office," said Magufuli shortly after he inaugurated a 19-million-euro tea processing factory owned by Unilever in the country's southern highland region of Njombe.
Unilever is a British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in London in the United Kingdom and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
He said red tape will not be entertained in his administration when it comes to the promotion of investments in efforts toward making the country a middle-income status by 2025.
"I recently decided to shift the investment portfolio from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to the Prime Minister's Office, and if the situation is not improving I will again shift the investment portfolio to my office," said Magufuli.
Meanwhile, Selemani Jafo, minister of state in the president's office responsible for regional administration and local government, on Tuesday sounded a stern warning against officials who harass foreign investors, saying those implicated will be punished.
Jafo sounded the warning in the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.
"We are doing all we can to restrain the mistreatment of investors," said Jafo in answer to a question by Rombo Member of Parliament Joseph Selasini who had wanted to know the government's action against district commissioners and regional commissioners who were still harassing investors.
In his question, the lawmaker expressed fear that mistreatment of investors is likely to scare them away.
Selasini said the district commissioners and the regional commissioners have been issuing orders to investors on issues that are in the jurisdiction of other authorities.
However, Jafo told the House that there is significant improvement that such incidents have decreased after government intervention.
"We are currently working on some reported cases of public officials who are said to have misused their authority to mistreat investors," said the minister.
The World Investment Report 2018 said Tanzania was the leading Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) destination among member states of the East African Community (EAC), accounting for about 40 percent of all the investments in the bloc that were received in 2017.
The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said both East Africa and the Horn of Africa, which have emerged as the fastest growing FDI destination on the continent, registered a total of 7.6 billion U.S. dollars in foreign investments in 2017.
Of the money, Ethiopia alone - which is now the largest recipient of FDIs in Africa after Egypt - took up 3.6 billion dollars.
About 3 billion U.S. dollars went to the EAC trading bloc with the remaining amount going to other East African countries that are not members of the bloc, said the report which was launched during the World Investment Forum 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Of the 3 billion dollars going into EAC, Tanzania registered FDIs projects worth 1.2 billion dollars followed by Uganda which bagged FDIs worth 700 million dollars as Kenya came third with FDIs valued at 672 million dollars, said the report.
It added that Rwanda was in the fourth slot with investments worth 366 million dollars followed by South Sudan at 80 million dollars as Burundi tailed the list with only 0.3 million dollars.