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Optimism expressed over business sector

THE Chairman of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Mr Salum Shamte, has pointed out that they are convinced the full implementation of the Regulatory Reforms to Improve the Investment and Business Environment blueprint will change completely the way Tanzania is facilitating entrepreneurs to do business.

Mr Shamte who has also been handed over the Chairmanship of the SADC Business Council, observed yesterday at the opening of the 4th SADC Annual Industrialisation Week which will be taking place at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre until August 9.

He pointed out that through the reforms and public investment the government is undertaking, the country is emerging as a very attractive investment destination.

He further noted that Tanzania is among the top five fastest growing economies in the whole of Africa, growing at around seven per cent per annum for the last decade.

The country offers massive opportunities in agriculture, livestock, fishery, tourism, transport, logistics, manufacturing, mining, construction and others.

“Tanzania is also massively investing in improving rail, road and air infrastructure and the production of energy to support the Industrialisation drive.

“The government is doing very well when it comes to addressing reforms needed to create a conducive investment and business environment.

Apart from adopting a zero-tolerance corruption strategy, we have jointly successfully developed a Blueprint for Regulatory Reforms to Improve the Investment and Business Environment and its implementation has begun,” said Mr Shamte.

According to him, the role and importance of the private sector in this endeavour cannot be over-emphasized as it is a reality across all SADC member states.

“The private sector creates over 90 per cent of all jobs in SADC Countries; it is the main source of investment and producer of goods and services, including food, government revenue and foreign exchange earnings.

Despite this important role, the private sector in Africa is still nascent, coupled with many challenges in doing business,” he noted. Such is limiting its role and potential in transforming the continent into a high growth economic giant.

He cited an example of the African intra-trade which accounted for only 19 per cent of total trade in 2018, compared with 59 per cent in Asia and 69 per cent in Europe.

The chairman disclosed that it was still more expensive to ship a container from one African country to the other than importing it from China due to tariff and nontariff barriers.

“Why do we annually spend more than USD 30 billion to import food, while we have 60 per cent of all the arable land in the world?

Why should an African country import rice from Asia while there is plenty of rice and potential to grow much more in Tanzania?” queried the Chairman.

He identified the critical need for the private and the public sectors to work together in partnership to address the bottlenecks which held them back.

The outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Business Council, Ms Charity Mwiya from Namibia, revealed that combined efforts are needed for smooth and successful industrialisation between the private and public sector in the SADC region.

International industrial development expert, Prof Francis Matambalya, highlighted key areas which countries should touch on for conducive industrialisation including Industrial entrepreneurship capacity, high level political and policy stewardship.

Others include creation of fundamental productive capacities such as direct finances, financial institutions with the right instruments and a number of non-financial capacities like building technological capacities and strong institutions.

He disclosed that to own natural resources, markets and right international partnerships was also key in the endeavour.

A BILL is to be tabled in the ...

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Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA

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