Dar es Salaam – The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation has urged the government to set up an advisory committee and to allocate Special Economic Zones for industries in the country. The plea was echoed by the TPSF Vice-chair Mr. Salum Shamte filling in the capacity of TPSF Chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi at the foundation’s 17th Annual General Meeting. The AGM brought together members, private sector stakeholders and development partners and invited guests from both the public and private sector .
The AGM whose theme centered on “Creating an enabling environment for industrialization; the role of PPP’s in the development of modern special economic zones)” was born from a study conducted by foundation. In the study TPSF was able to articulate challenges towards industrialization, many of which in particular were being faced by investors who didn’t have access to designated Special Economic Zones that were identified by EPZA. This has led the Private Sector to believe that SEZs are important in fast tracking industrialization in the country. Having designated Special Economic Zones with infrastructures allowing access to roads, railway networks, water and stable electric power supply in place to support industries will definitely attract any foreign investor. “These Special Economic Zones are normally also given Tax incentives which add to their appeal for both local and foreign investors” Mr. Shamte read from the chairman’s speech.
Arrangements of the sort have proved a major success in Asian, much more so in countries like China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and many others. In Africa we are seeing the likes of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana and Rwanda steadily following suite with significant success and many more are hoping on the band train.
The foundation also did not underscore the challenges of establishing of SEZ, and advised the government better capacitate EPZA by allocating a significant amount from it’s fiscal budget to assist the organ to perform it’s role more effectively and efficiently. The utilization of already present small industry parks such as those of SIDO could be better utilized to promote industries from small scale investors and entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the AGM TPSF Executive Director Godfrey Simbeye said “TPSF has continuously advocated for the establishment of an industrial development bank to extend credit to investors and entrepreneurs keen on setting up factories and industries in the country’.
In his remarks, EPZA Director General, Joseph Simbakalia, said opportunities for establishing SEZ were open o both foreign and local investors.