Dar es Salaam. Pakistan is planning to inject some $1 billion in Tanzania during the next five years as the Asian nation seeks to up its involvement in various sectors of the latter’s economy.
The plan, which comes within one month after the launch of the Tanzania-Pakistan Business Council (TPBC), will benefit agriculture, water, mining, education, health, port, solar energy, climate change and solid waste management sectors, TPBC chairman Shaidi Majeed said at the weekend.
Realisation of the plan would mean that Pakistan will more than double the value of its investments in Tanzania which stood at $490 million in 2020, according to data from the Pakistan Embassy.
Speaking in a meeting convened under the auspices of the Welfare Association of Pakistanis (WAP) as part of the celebrations to mark 75th Independence Day of Pakistan, Mr Majeed said the $1 billion will be released in phases depending on government priorities.
“30 percent of that amount will be released in form of grants to support artisanal miners as well as to help in drilling of boreholes; paying school fees for the needy children and medication,” he said.
The remaining 70 percent – which translates into $700 million – would come in form of direct investment that would involve Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) between Tanzania and Pakistan.
PPPs are a mechanism for the government to procure and implement public infrastructure or services using the resources and expertise of the private sector.
“The government in collaboration with Pakistan officials is currently preparing a document that will guide the partnership. The Pakistan work plan is to use 30 percent of the said amount to support mining projects, education, water and health,” he said.
According to him, once the funds are approved they expect to establish fertilizer factories and industries to process raw materials and produce final products to boost export and create job opportunities for Tanzanians.
Gracing the event, Pakistan High Commissioner to Tanzania Mohammed Bihan said trade between Tanzania and Pakistan has been on the increase during the past years.
“We have witnessed a 70 percent rise in trade volume during the past one year which was contributed by $155 million of new investments during that period,” he said.
The value of trade between the two countries stood at $233 million during the fiscal year 2021/22, from $163 million during the preceding year.
He said Tanzania was largely being boosted by its political stability, conducive investment opportunities and good leadership.
He said that as they mark their 75th Independence Day, the government will significantly continue to extend its relations with Tanzania especially that currently, there are around 3,000 Pakistanis living in Tanzania.
“It is good that Tanzania is currently finalizing the process to establish an embassy in Pakistan. We are happy that the recent visit of President Samia Hassan Suluhu has shown good steps that are likely to bear fruit,” he said.
Should the money be invested as planned, Pakistan would be eyeing to become one of the largest sources of foreign investment in Tanzania.
Until 2019, China was the largest source of foreign investment in Tanzania, with investments valued at $5.963 billion.
Until that time, the UK came second with investments valued $5.54 billion while the US, Mauritius and India completing the top five list with investments worth $4.7 billion, $4.308 billion and $2.2 billion respectively.