DOING BUSINESS IN TANZANIA 


 

wanted to visit them, since I felt i needed support for my poor command of the English language, I received support from Geert van O., export consultant of the KvK, for the first time we went to the Embassy we first visited the country expert of Tanzania at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Ha
gue, because of the fog we arrived much later as agreed and the gsm did not exist yet, so we unfortunately could not inform the person that we arrived leaving, when we came to his department he and said, at the moment I still have a pastry useful, we have a birthday, if the time comes you will hear it (??).
When we were sitting on a bench in the hallway, Geert said, Ger my whole body is screaming for coffee, I said we'd look for a little, a spontaneous lady would come by and ask, can we get coffee here?, she said, she took us to some kind of canteen and asked the canteen worker, wants to give these two gentlemen coffee, said that canteen teacher, no they get no coffee, pff, but those gentlemen come from far away and they don't get coffee, the girl who had escorted us to the canteen wanted to go through the ground, she was embarrassed, at a canteen table a house painter sat with his feet around the table and he stood on , gave the canteen teacher two vouchers and said in a rather commanding tone "here you have the receipts and you now give these men the coffee !!

 


Later, tanzania's country expert was willing to speak to us, he told us that the Netherlands had a project ready for crown cork factory (??) but the Tanzanian government led by Nyerere, the President, tanzania had to use their currency, Putting Tanzanian shilling first to the value it was worth in terms of the market, so devaluing it a lot, he showed me the documents of the project, I saw certain numbers and I asked him what those numbers were, he said, actually you shouldn't have seen them, but they refer to companies in the ABC for trade and industry, then I knew right away that I just had to stand with my ads in that edition, obviously the export edition, then we went to the Embassy , when we wanted to drive into the street it turned out from the direction we came from we were not allowed to drive into the street, it was a one-way traffic so we had to detour, a block around, when we drove down the cross street to the street where the Embassy was located we were forced to stop by a motorcycle police, there was another car in front of us, after a short time the motorcycle police drove away again and the car in front of us drove into the street, and so did we, when we arrived at the street in question I had to put in a parking space, when I looked in my right outside mirror I said to Geert, well that time I come here they don't have to do this again , he asked what to do, I said look back, as it turned out, Queen Beatrix came in a carriage immediately harmony front and police on horseback etc., Geert shot in his laughter, what turned out this was the day that the Queen received the Credentials of new Ambassadors, therefore we were allowed to drive down that street.

 


When we entered the Embassy Building, we had already warned them that, because of the fog, we came later, the contact was already waiting for us, I said what is the intention, he the Ambassador would like to speak to you himself, now I had thought why they wanted to have a conversation with me, I thought they would ask me if I wanted to promote Tanzania in " The Hague" (?) and that turned out to be also, since of course I had absolutely no possibility of that I thought then I would then slide Geert to him, this one went with the VUT, and I thought that in his spare time he was going to start a consultancy, not so, Geert told me later that the stupidest thing he had forgotten about was doing

that , after that conversation with the Ambassador, the person who had been in contact with me, the second man from the Embassy, may I offer you something to eat in a restaurant, I said, please, would you be kind enough to come, so we got in the car and went to a 5* hotel-restaurant, Geert said to me, Ger this I have never experienced, that we

are invited by them, we do not know how careful we should be to invite THEM to dinner, but do not take something that is expensive, it is only a poor country, when I asked him, did you see that Mercedes 500 standing in front of the embassy door?, when we were eating suggested the host :

we actually have to get the white white ones back in our country, of course not as a colonizer but as organizers (managers) that is not in our genes, all african countries that have become self-ists are all virtually bankrupt, we as Tanzania were

first the "granary" of Africa, now we have to

import our own necessities of life, such as fruit and vegetables, the moment we became independent, all the tribes started living together and growing fruit and vegetables ourselves, but we didn't know that it takes about 5 years for a plantation to be sufficiently "rigged", and now the first generation can lay the blame on the whites but no longer the third generation, I thought "this should be the goat wool socks , then the laces shoot

out of their sandals" later when I was a member of the WAVA (West African-German-ign Association, this was an association founded in +/- 1960 by Philips, AKZO, Unilever and the like to advise each other on "shipping" and the possible difficulties, this was a very select group, and I still don't know how I joined it, but the text and facts were for the goat woollen socks types also to get the same effect on them, but yes, once I was at a meeting of the Brabant Export Society and told an Arab person when you paid kickbacks in an Arab country, which of course he said, you never had to do that yourself, or someone from your company but a person not traced to your company , there was an evd (Economic Information Service) official standing up and saying that something like this did not happen in those countries (?!?), whereas much later during a tax check the inspector asked me, you paid bribes, when I answer that in denial he asked, do you know that we allow this?, I said yes, up to ten thousand guilders. Depending on the size/value of the project !!, at the same time I got in touch with a company in Abu Dhabi one from the United Emirates, this company asked me to come along for discussions on projects, Mr. Van de B. director/owner of BOSTA was at my visit and he promised to support me, because I felt that "my English" was not good enough and asked Jos van H., the export consultant of the KvK to go along with, among other things, the B. paid the extra costs in this, extra flight/stay and digesting expenses, Jos van H. did bring forward a plan, which was well thought out by himself, I had to write and sign a letter, should something happen to me I might decide him to negotiate for me and , (so in fact I then transferred all the power, i didn't notice this until later,???), Jos and I, flew there and when we arrived at night we found out that we had lost on the date, My wife had already warned me, we had a bottle of Whisky Johnny Walker with us, really not afraid if you go to an Islamic country, but customs

looked at the bottle and lowered it back into the bag, but by the day change our appointments had of course gone wrong, among other things with the business agent from the Netherlands there, we went to the hotel in Holiday-Inn in the office of the agent, Mr. Peter H., I met Ashok L. , the conversation was between Vince, Ashok and Peter, at one point Ashok stated that he wanted his commission paid in advance, then only I interfered and said to Ashok, you don't get your commission until I received my last penny, ashok came back to that several times later, he said, you supposedly couldn't speak English, but when it came to money you spoke your word well. The place where Peter H.'s office stood was. Newark on Trent, a very nice place with lots of half-timbered houses, I went to the bar in the evening there was a crutch there was a young boy sitting on it, I was only 44 years old myself, and he insisted that I sit on that stool, later an


artist arrived with a framed pen drawing of buildings in half-timbered buildings built of the city, he gave it to that kid and he gave it to me, that "kid" turned out to be the mayor of Newark on Trent, Vince told me that he was the youngest mayor of the world, so a whole honor, at the back of the drawing was a letter put, there they asked to make a donation, I really didn't read this , but nevertheless I found it an honor to see my company so big. After this assignment, several assignments came through Ashok, for about £1,145,825.00, for USD 125,178.00 Tools from Sweden via Rotterdam to Dar es Salaam, here in Rotterdam the cargo had to be relabeled to HTB-v/d Hurk Technical Companies, and

an Offsetpress from Rotterdam for Dfl. 390,000.00 further various goods such as, Anchor Chains, Dental Equipment, At one point Ashok asked if I could arrange for him to get the only representation for Ahlmann Loaders, I made an appointment with the export manager of Ahlmann in Rendsburg Germany, I would pick up Ashok at 10:00 at Hamburg airport, be late in Hamburg, I was an hour early, 9:00 am so, after two hours of waiting at Ashok

, and I called home if my wife had heard anything from Ashok, cell phone phones didn't exist then, my wife said that Ashok had called that he was not allowed into Germany, the Schengen agreement was not yet present, so I drove on to Rendsdorp, about 10 Km below the Danish border, then received by the export manager, after first having had an introductory conversation, he suggested to see the factory, after I had only taken my writing folder, normally I took my suitcase, and then locked it, but that did not go badly now. We've made a closing call and a representation contract for Ashok. Then back again.
Later, at the request of Ashok Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. Korea, I arranged a representation agreement for Ashok by fax and telephone.

 


Then I got a message that Tanzania was getting a nimble, t.b the infrastructure, of USD 850,000,000.00, I thought "that's where it's going to happen" I forwarded it to Ashok with the letterhead of HTB of course, this one went to the Minister of Works, Ashok asked me to find a Dutch road contractor company that we could then be an agent of, so to speak, first of all to H. Road construction company here in Rosmalen, I got in touch with Mr. R., not hard to remember, our dog, Don, was a Rottweiler, had a conversation about this, he said, I'll come back to it, later I got a fax copy of a telex that they had sent directly to the Ministry of Works in
Tanzania , I called this R. and told him that we had not agreed, he said, oh Mr. van den Hurk, we as Heijmans have already done work there so we do not need you I think, I said, I would call you again, then I went to Tanzania, I called that R. and said I was going, he said success, when I arrived in Tanzania I went with Tanzania to various ministries and also to the Minister of Works his house,


















what I was going through then, absolutely unbelievable, he lived in a huge house with a fence around it and in front of the fence soldiers as a guard, we came into a great room and waiting for the minister, after a while he came from the garden door, with only a towel around his waist (?!?), he said, sorry but my shower in the house is broken, I showered myself in the guest house, he gave me a hand and said, Gerry from Holland, I said yes, I'm so back, We then had a nice conversation, and at one point the Minister asked me, Gerry can I offer you a beer (?!?), I said, please, he went away and came back with a bottle of beer , he opened it himself and poured it in glass for me, I thought this should be seen with us, if with us some are a step higher then they feel I do not already know what, further in the conversation he saw that I was rather perspired, a} you do not speak every day with a minister, b} there was no air conditioning, he shouted something in Swahili when his sons turned on with a cable harness and a rod fan that he put down for me and on. The minister told me that by my fax 4 weeks earlier he knew they were getting the loan, so he could put people in a position that otherwise would not have succeeded.


Ashok had arranged a Safari for me, he had to leave, when I had my wife on the phone in the evening saying, who's back tomorrow, and that's right, I bought a singlet ticket from Swiss/Air for USD 975.00 and flown home
































 

 

Four weeks earlier, he knew they were getting the loan, so he could put people in a position that otherwise wouldn't have worked.

When
I got back, I called that Lord R. to share some things, he said to me, tell me, say it quickly because I already have my coat in my hand, Because I have to leave quickly, I said to him, Mr. R., I have been at the Minister of Works's house, I have to say that I did not know this before, then he said to me, momentarily Mr. van den Hurk, then I sit down, and what have you discussed?, I said to him, I said to the minister, following the conversations between us, that the Firm H. had no interest at all to carry out any further
work in Tanzania But, Mr. van den Hurk, we did not say that, but did not realize that you had such an entrance, I said, Mr R., I did not say, but I could have said

it, don't blow as high as the tower, later other companies and an office and company belcourt in England approached as K. from Friesland, the gas pipe layer in question, but in Tanzania the money promised by the WorldBank went so messed up that the WorldBank closed the 'cut' and did not send a penny more to Tanzania, my last account that was still open was paid directly by the WorldBank, and then it was over and out as far as Tanzania was concerned.

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