Strengthen the role of the private sector in economy to drive growth IMF boss advises

Tao Zhang

IMF Deputy Managing Director Mr. Tao Zhang escorted out by Tanzanian President Dr. John P. Magufuli after an official visit to the state house.

May 17, 2017 – The IMF Deputy Managing Director Mr. Tao Zhang advised the Tanzanian government to strengthen the role of the private sector in the economy to drive future growth in the country. This was one of the three recommendations rendered by Mr. Zhang during his visit, others included increasing investments and ensuring shared benefits.

“Tanzania’s growth over the past 20 years has been impressive, Tanzania also has great potential to achieve continued success—including Development Vision 2025 goal of achieving middle-income status” Mr. Zhang spoke at the event organized by Central Bank of Tanzania during his visit.

Tanzania’s economy has shown impressive growth over the past decades and as of recent years has stood more or less at 7%. Impressive by all means for a Sub-Sahara and the world over, despite sharp economic slumps that has affected the region. Undeterred Tanzania’s resilient economy is still in a unique position for further growth with abundant natural resources and strategically positioned in regional economic cooperation blocs with its neighbors with the potential to increase trade, as well as open markets. Tanzania has also enjoyed significant improvements in social indicators, for instance a 60 percent reduction in infant mortality and a 36 percentage points increase in primary education enrollment.

This impressive performance is mainly attributed to hard work and sound economic policies that have encouraged growth and buffered against the shocks and problems affecting other countries. “You have become an attractive destination for foreign investment” Mr Zhang told the congregation at the event. Also speaking at the event was the Governor for the Central Bank Prof. Benno Ndulu clearly reaffirming the importance of the private sector as the mechanism to drive the country’s middle-income aspirations, and calling for the public sector to create a conducive business environment.

This conference is second of it’s kind following the first event held in 2009 (Tanzania-IMF conference) and the first time Mr. Tao Zhang as IMF Deputy Managing Director. Assurance of IMF’s commitment to support Tanzania’s economic ambitions is much welcomed. Before his current post at the IMF Mr. Tao Zhang held numerous positions including Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China and IMF’s Executive Director for China from 2011 to 2015.

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