The consultative meeting was co-chaired by Hon. Charles Mwijage from the Industry, Trade and Investment and Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango, Minister for Finance and Planning. Five Deputy Ministers and representatives of each Parliamentary Standing Committees were also in attendance, as well as Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent secretaries and a host of senior government officials, including the Commissioner General of the Tanzania Revenue Authority. On the Private Sector it was flanked by Tanzania private Sector Foundation Chairman and Vice-Chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi and Mr. Salum Shamte respectively, the chairman of the CEO Roundtable, Mr. Ali Mufuruki, leaders of chambers of commerce, business organizations and over two hundred businessmen and businesswomen attended the consulting meeting.
The whole consultative meeting was centered around overcoming challenges hampering the Private sector and ultimately stagnant the growth of the economy, particularly with regards of realizing an industrialized Tanzania. Speaking at the event TPSF Chairman of the Board Dr. Reginald Mengi, cited lack of distrust between the Government and the Private Sector, lack of inclusion of the Private Sector in decision making stages especially ion matters relating to businesses and the economy. “In the past was agreed that the all policies, laws and regulations when designing or reforming, the private sector would play an active role” Dr. Mengi added. He proceeded to point out that of concerns for the Private Sector included violation of standing contracts especially those of local and foreign investors. Bureaucracy and lack of coordination from the regulatory and licensing bodies is a major nuisance getting worse day by day. Concluding “These vivid scenarios are enough to assess that the current business environment in the country is not conducive”. We urge the government to urgently recognize the Private Sector’s vital role in the economy as well as evoke trust and transparency among stakeholders.
The private sector also made sector specific presentations from the agricultural sector to the insurance sector. In each presentation challenges that the Private Sector is facing were outlined and explained and suggestions on measures that can address the challenges were made. Despite all the above challenges the Private Sector acknowledged initiatives on the government’s part to improve the business environment by curbing down on corruption, instilling work ethics among public sector employees, plugging loop holes on tax evasion and the establishment of a committee to oversee the betterment of the business environment under the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, but to mention a few.
Overall Private Sector expressed satisfaction on the governments turn out at the consultative meeting. The government on its part promised to work on all suggestions that were made during the meeting and to the extent possible, put them into implementation. Both sides agreed to regularize this kind of consultative meetings.