DAR ES SALAAM, April 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 300 key business actors including government officials and investors from five countries have confirmed participation in the first international investment and trade forum to be held in Tanzania's Kigoma, an official said on Friday.
Innocent Kahwa, Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) coordinator for western zone regions of Kigoma, Tabora, Katavi and Rukwa, said the participants will come from Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
He said the forum themed "Tanganyika Business Summit and Festival" to be held from May 9 through May 11, will provide a platform for policy makers, private sector, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations to deliberate issues related to policy, laws, regulations, trade and investment opportunities for mutual economic development among stakeholders.
"We are getting more confirmations of participation from business firms in Burundi, Zambia, Rwanda and the DRC," said Kahwa, adding that the forum will also be attended by 220 government officials and business firms from Tanzania.
"The forum marks an important milestone in the road map towards establishing Kigoma to be a trade and business hub within neighboring countries," Kahwa told Xinhua in an interview.
The official said during the forum participants were expected to present illustrative practices as well as new developments in the field of cross border trade and investment opportunities for smooth mutual economic and social development among stakeholders.
"Also the entrepreneurs will get opportunities to showcase various products and services offered," added Kahwa when reached by phone from Kigoma town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second oldest freshwater lake in the world.
He said the forum will go in tandem with a festival aimed at promoting respect for cultural diversity among participating countries.
"Artists will get chance to showcase their talents. There will be around 10 artists from Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Zambia," said Kahwa, adding the festival will provide opportunities for international musicians to meet, learn from each other, and create new musical fusions.
He said the forum was aimed at establishing business networks and integration of business community among neighboring countries to improve cross border trade.
The forum was also aimed at promoting trade and investment opportunities among the neighboring countries and create conducive business environment for trade and investment among the countries.