Tanzania is a rapidly growing emerging market; it ranks among the 20 fastest growing economies in the world. The country has exhibited a GDP growth rate of around7% for past 5 years and it is predicted by the IMF and World Bank to continue this rapid growth for the next decade.

Over the past two decades, it has been transformed from a centrally planned economy to a market oriented system through successful implementation free-market orientated reforms. The Government has encouraged private sector led growth through restoration of market forces and less Government intervention in commercial activities. Overall, the reforms have resulted in
positive growth trends and impressive macro-economic indicators with inflation rates falling from 27.4% in 1995 to about 9% in 2012.

The recent discovery of large quantities of natural gas on the east coast, and the interest that
Investors have shown in this field, is a positive sign of rapid advancement of the economy. Recent reforms are intended to improve infrastructures and private sector growth through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

Key Performance Indicators

 Indicators 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Population (millions)

39.3 40.7 43.2 44.5 44.9

GDP Growth %

7.4 6 7 6.4 6.9

GDP per Capita (USD)

524.1 525.2 538.1 550.1 628.9

CPI average inflation rate (%)

10.3 12.1 7.6 12.6 16.0

Exports of goods & services/GDP (%)

26.9 23.8 27.6 30.6 30.4

Imports of goods & services/GDP (%)

41.9 35 39.1 49.9 44.4


-12.4 -8.4 -8.5 -16.5 -12.2

Average exchange rate (TZs/USD

1.196.9 1,306.0 1.395.7 1.557.4 1.571.7
Official reserves (USD Million)
2,872.6 3,552.5 3,948.0 3,744.6 4,069.1
Reserves (months of imports cover)
4.0 5.6 5.2 3.7 3.9


Since the country started to implement economic and institutional reforms, there has been a steady increase of investment inflows in the economy as substantiated below.

Number of Projects Approved by TIC

(1996 – 2006)

Further, With regard to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), according to the survey of Private Capital Flows undertaken in 2004 by the Bank of Tanzania in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics and the Tanzania Investment Centre, it was revealed that over 72.5 percent of investors were satisfied with the investment environment in the country. Under the same coverage of the study (2001 – 2004), Tanzania experienced increasing FDI inflows with an annual average of USD 424 million.

Growth of FDIs in Tanzania
(1995 – 2005)













Value in (US $ million)












Overall, the increase in investment is attributed to macroeconomic stability and government’s efforts in creating a business-friendly environment backed by enabling legislation, facilitative framework and a well balanced and competitive investment package.

Also, in a bid to promoting investments, the Government passed two Acts namely: Export Processing Zone Act, 2002 and Special Economic Zone Act of 2006.

Export Processing Zones (EPZ)

In this case, the Government has adopted the concept as a policy option for export oriented industrialization and economic development. This move is expected to increase employment opportunities, ease the process of technology transfer and improve Tanzania’s economic growth through export-oriented investments.

The Act was amended in 2006 to give the Economic Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) the mandate to facilitate and oversee the implementation of the programme throughout the country. Areas earmarked for establishment of EPZs in the country include the following centers: Dar es Salaam , Tanga, Moshi, Arusha, Bukoba, Mwanza, Kigoma, Isaka and Mtwara on the mainland and Amani, Fumba and Micheweni in Zanzibar.

Notably, these locations have been established under the Gateway Concept by linking them to international trade routes such as airports, inland dry-ports, main roads, and harbors and inland marine ports.

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

In this initiative Special Economic Zones are established in selected geographical areas and provided with special business environment to promote priority economic activities for faster economic growth. Objectively, SEZs are established to enhance: productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, export promotion; and employment generation for poverty eradication. In that effect, areas such as: industrial parks; export processing zones, free trade areas; free ports, tourist parks; and science and technology have been targeted.

These two initiatives, among others, have significantly contributed to the investment inflows in the country. The Government therefore, is consistently determined to improve the business environment in order to attract both foreign and local investors.


Accelerated reforms undertaken since 1995 in Tanzania have resulted in a significantly liberalized trade regime in which among others, export restrictions and foreign exchange controls have been eliminated and export and import procedures more simplified. Generally, the government has made a concerted effort to create an environment conducive to both domestic and foreign investment.

The principal export commodities include: Coffee, cotton, manufactures, cashew nuts, minerals, tea, sisal, tobacco, pyrethrum and cloves. The main imports are machinery and transport equipment, textiles and clothing, petroleum products and food & drinks. While main export partners include: Germany, Japan, India, Belgium-Luxembourg and Britain, the main import partners are Britain, Kenya, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India and China. Although production of export commodities is increasing, many of Tanzania’s main exports such as tea, tobacco and gold are suffering from weather susceptibility and fluctuating world prices.

Regional and International affiliations:

Tanzania is committed to the promotion of development, peace and security in the world. In the pursuit of these objectives, Tanzania works with other countries, through various regional and international organizations. In the regional sphere, Tanzania is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC) and the African Union (AU).

In the international arena, Tanzania is an active member of the United Nations (UN) and its specialized agencies, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), just to mention a few.