Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has listed eight issues that need to be addressed to improve the business and investment environments in the country.
TPSF has requested the government to stop closing factories, engage trade facilitation agencies on a regular basis and oversee legal reforms aimed at addressing administrative challenges.
Speaking during a meeting with the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Marketing and Investment on Tuesday, TPSF policy director Gilead Teri said the government should also establish more economic zones.
The foundation also called for the involvement of the private sector in drafting the country’s industrial blueprint and enhancement of the role of regional economic blocs and an end to excessive bureaucracy.
“The private sector is going out of his way to look for investors, but the government has been closing and threatening to close manufacturing companies instead of helping them survive,” he said.
Mr Teri added that some state agencies, including Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), National Environmental Management Council (NEMC), Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Tanzania Port Authority (TPA), were putting up barriers to improving the business environment.
“We need to have dialogue regularly between trade and investment regulators and the private sector with regard to decisions made by the agencies that are likely to affect business,” he said.
However, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Marketing and Investment, Prof Elisante ole Gabriel, said the government would continue to close factories whose operators flouted regulations.
“This country is governed in line with the law, so manufacturers have no option but to comply with all legal requirements, otherwise appropriate measures will be taken against them,” he said.
Prof ole Gabriel listed ten issues the private sector needed to take into account to improve their fortunes.
They include building trust, paying tax on time, increasing transparency, formulating effective business strategies and following business value chains.
He said the private sector should also use the media for publicity and bank on technology in seeking more business opportunities.
“The existing political will should be viewed by the private sector as capital. This is the right time for them to build trust.”
Prof ole Gabriel said the government needed taxes and at the same time the market needed quality products and services.
He advised the private sector to grab business opportunities presented by regional blocs such as the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The government and private sector agreed to meet next month to discuss TPSF’s proposals.
The meeting, which will involve seven ministries and various private sector operators, will, among other objectives, seek to develop a common communication strategy.