Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Private sector needs more EPZs for industrialisation

Export Processing Zones Authority director

Export Processing Zones Authority director general Joseph Simbakalia speaks during the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation’s annual general meeting in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO | OMARI FUNGO 

By Ludger Kasumuni @TheCitizenTz lkasumuni@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The private sector has pleaded with the government to create more special economic and export processing zones in an effort to industrialise Tanzania.

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) executive director Godfrey Simbeye said fewer SEZs mean that only a few businesses benefit from tax and non-tax incentives.

He was speaking here during the annual general meeting yesterday.

TPSF members that operate in special economic zones (SEZs) are exempted from paying taxes and other dues for machinery, equipment, heavy duty vehicles, building and construction materials and any other capital goods to be used for developing the SEZ infrastructure.

They are also exempted from paying corporate tax for the first 10 years among others incentives.

“The TPSF chairman [Reginald Mengi] has written a letter to the responsible authority within the government with a view to increase the number of SEZ/Export Processing Zones (EPZs) as a way of helping the growth of the private sector,” said Mr Simbeye.

He said the creation of more SEZs/EPZs is one of the issues that the private sector has forwarded to the government under the public- private partnerships.

“Asian countries like China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam have developed due to economic zones… In Africa, countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have made great strides in building strong industries through this way,” he said.

Meanwhile, TPSF vice chairman Salum Shamte launched the foundation’s report of 2016 on Tanzania’s Political Economic Analysis.

It focuses on how political and economic conditions have favoured powerful political interests at the expense of the private sector development. He said although the country had ample investment opportunities, the business environment gives little chance for businesses to flourish.

He said it was due to the government’s failure to meet its pledges that Dangote Cement had been unable to invest the $600 million as planned.

“If the government were to meet the pledge of providing cheap energy from natural gas, the company would have invested the entire amount as planned,” he said.

Responding to the issues report blames inability of the government to improve further business environment through PPP.

In his remarks, the EPZ Authority (EPZA) director general, Col (rtd) Joseph Simbakalia said the government is currently working on establishing an industrial park in Bagamoyo.

the private sector has forwarded to the government under the public- private partnerships.

“Asian countries like China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam have developed due to economic zones… In Africa, countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have made great strides in building strong industries through this way,” he said.

Meanwhile, TPSF vice chairman Salum Shamte launched the foundation’s report of 2016 on Tanzania’s Political Economic Analysis.

It focuses on how political and economic conditions have favoured powerful political interests at the expense of the private sector development. He said although the country had ample investment opportunities, the business environment gives little chance for businesses to flourish.

He said it was due to the government’s failure to meet its pledges that Dangote Cement had been unable to invest the $600 million as planned.

advertisement