STRATEGIC establishment of more special economic zones (SEZ) will transform and build a strong industrial economy in the region, EPZA Director General, Joseph Simbakalia has said.
“Special economic zones contribute significantly to social economic development and rapid industrial upgrade in the country,” he told a delegation from Kimaka Defence College in Uganda that visited the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
He said in a presentation that the special economic zones also contribute to building up industrial production output with high impact on export trade and employment.
He said the EAC regional integration is an important platform that offers huge market opportunity to investors and attract more inflows of investments into the partner states for building strong industrial base.
“Establishing more strategic export processing zones in the region with such a bigger market opportunity is vital and can hook more investment to benefit the economies of the partner states,” he noted.
He said it was important to invest more on export processing zones to capitalise on the regional geographical advantage of the Indian Ocean mentioned in the recent studies that it will in the future control over 60 per cent of the global trade.
He underscored the need of bringing onboard the participation of local private sector in order to achieve industrial sustainability and building inclusive industrial economy.
For example, he said the increased manufactured export led products will definitely boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings to benefit the economy as well as making the country’s local currency more strong.
“In Tanzania investors investing in special economic zones are guaranteed opportunities provided through the authority’s facilities where 80 per cent of the processed products are for exports market,” he said.
On his part, the Head of the delegation from Uganda Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti said the tour has been very successful and enhanced their understanding on how export processing zones are established and contribute to the economy.
“We have leant how Tanzania managed to develop successful special economic zones, the important platforms for building strong industrial base,” he said adding that the tour is strengthening regional integration.