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Investors make a beeline for Tanzania

Foreign investors and retailers are exploring investment opportunities in Tanzania. There is a significant potential for a flourishing textile and garment industry in the country, thanks to the country's cotton production capacity. Tanzania boasts of bumper cotton harvests, with expertise and infrastructure to sustain the spinning, weaving and manufacturing elements of the value chain. The country can therefore be a base for vertically integrated textile and garment operations.

The country has formed a fund whose objective is to stimulate the textile and apparel industry. With expertise in technology, management and marketing, the unit is designed to facilitate supplier relationships, build training capabilities and coordinate friendly policies for investors.

It is working closely to improve the regulatory environment, incentives for investors, the quality of inputs and upgrading of the industry. It will help new investors locate empty factory space in identified regions and link investors to joint ventures.

Because of Tanzania’s categorisation as a less developed country, its cotton, textile and apparel products enjoy unparalleled access to almost all of the world’s most important markets. While there has been variability in production levels in recent years due to price instability and weather fluctuations, there has been progress in introducing contract farming in some of the growing regions, which is already leading to higher and more stable yields as well as higher quality cotton.