Thu Jun 15 12:57:56 EAT 2017
TIC pledges to boost agriculture
Why agriculture and agro-processing industries rank highly on the list of sectors of your priorities?
- We want to create a room for inclusive economy; the two sectors touch the daily life of Tanzanians, with agriculture absorbing about 70 per cent of labor force.
Q: Why agriculture and agro-processing industries rank highly on the list of sectors of your priorities?
A: We want to create a room for inclusive economy; the two sectors touch the daily life of Tanzanians, with agriculture absorbing about 70 per cent of labor force.
The creation of inclusive economy is only possible through strengthening of agro-industrial capabilities and linkages.
This then, improves opportunities for added value and serves as effective means of achieving economic transformation and sustainable livelihoods.
The scope of this assistance goes beyond urban agro-industries to reach poor and marginalized rural population with markets of their raw materials.
The progress in agricultural and agro-processing industries will provide a room for increasing in the exports earnings of locally produced goods.
You bank on researches to identify priority areas and how to work on them. What else would you do?
We are going to develop a very robust online system and website which will be interactive and integrated with other institutions like tourism and national parks so that we integrate the efforts in promotion of investment and tourism.
The website is developed by a Mauritius–based firm and supported by Investment Climate Facility for Africa.
Q: When will the website become operational?
Very soon it will become operational. Next week (this week), information technology experts are going to submit to me the first draft of the website, of which will enable me to have a picture on when will the project be complete.
What should investors expect from the website?
We will be providing economic and investment data to identify investment opportunities which are available in the country.
Q: Which are the incentives to be offered to investors?
We are going to provide them with fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Fiscal incentives include tax and duties exemption as provided by Investments and Finance act.
Non fiscal incentives, among others, include derivative rights, connection to water and power.
We also plan in a short and midterm plans to shorten time used in processing registration of projects and issuance of certificate of incentives to three days and one day respectively from 14 days provided by the law.
How will that be achieved?
To achieve this, we have decided to use electronic system in processing the documents, giving approvals and issuance of certificate of incentives.
Also we are strengthening zonal offices for the already existing offices in Moshi, Mwanza, Mbeya and Dodoma.
We are also underway to open up three more zonal offices in Dar es Salaam, Mtwara and Kigoma or Tabora.
To what extent are the said incentives will be important?
That is important to both investors and government…it is crucial in cutting production costs.
After getting their return of investment (dividend), shareholders will have to pay 30 per cent of their personal income.
What is your third priority?
We need to create a linkage between small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, and big investors.
This should be considered before issuing a permit to investors.
Through this linkage, we need SMEs to enjoy economies of scale in line with securing capital and market skills.
This will help small and medium enterprises, whose minimum capital is not more than Sh50 million and Sh500 million respectively, graduate to the next stage.
What comes fourth in the list of your priorities?
I am looking forward creating a very strong tie with local government, so that we can work closely.
With them, I wish to develop district investment profile whereby each district will have to identify their investment opportunities available in their areas.
They will also have to survey and demarcate land for investment, identify any attractive incentives for investments and undertake joint promotion and facilitation with TIC.
What is your call on various stakeholders?
Other ministries, departments and agencies, or MDAs, should accord me with very high level of cooperation to ensure that we successful promote and facilitate investments in Tanzania.
Each of them should take a look on process, system and working framework in their respective institutions and make necessary improvements.
This would lead to convergence that will leverage on achieving national development goals.
I also call upon the private sector through their umbrella associations such as the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Confederation of Tanzania Industries and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to join me in in promoting investments.
They should sensitise their members that the government is in need of them in the course of attaining all the objectives set out in the industrial strategies.
They need to be proactive and the government, TIC in particular is willing to provide support for private sector growth and development.
TIC is ready to do anything to facilitate the domestic private sector because it (domestic private sector) is the one which creates employments and pay taxes to the government.
I will soon have a meeting with members of private sector to discuss on how we can cooperate to boost investment in the country.
Banks and other financial institutions should also take the rightful role in encouraging, mobilizing and providing capital to promote investors including start-ups.
I plan to have discussions with various commercial banks with a view to lending loans to various enterprises.
What are the current three challenges facing TIC?
The first challenge is to work in coordination manner among MDAs in promoting and facilitating investments in the country.
Availability of land for investment is also a challenge. To address this, local government authorities should implement directives from the central government of surveying and allocating land for investments. On top of that, lack of awareness and readiness of domestic private sector in tapping up the investment opportunities in the country.
This calls for private sector in tapping up the investments opportunities in the country…they need to have a daring mind and take risks in venturing into business fully.
What is your reaction to complaints by members of private sector about unfriendly business environments in the country?
The government is addressing some challenges including shortage of power and infrastructure.
The government is diversifying thermal, wind, gas and hydro sources of power, in its fresh bid to make power cheap, accessible and reliable.
It is now trying to attract independent power producers; one of the investor from Europe has come to my office and shown interest to invest in wind power in Dodoma.
In addition to that, the construction of standard gauge railway and revival of Air Tanzania Company Limited is determined to ensure we minimize to the maximum possible level the costs of doing business.