Japanese envoy calls for speed in work permits issuance

Japan Ambassador to Tanzania Shinichi Goto responds to a question during an interview in Dar es Salaam recently. PHOTO | E RICKY BONIPHACE

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The Japanese Ambassador says delays in issuance of work permits has been hampering FDI inflows

Dar es Salaam. Japan Ambassador to Tanzania, Shinichi Goto has called on the government to address work permit issuance delays so as to improve Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Tanzania.

The envoy made the call on Friday during an exclusive interview with Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) journalists at its embassy in Dar es Salaam.

He advised the authorities against taking too long to issue work permits, saying this adversely impacts FDI inflows to the country.

“Many businessmen from Japan have several times complained to me about this issue. Even the Chinese investors and some from other countries have expressed a similar concern,” he said.

The envoy said the Tanzanian government should implement the blueprint report, which according to him, was good because it highlighted trade and investment challenges facing investors wishing to invest in the country.

According to the ambassador, he has been persuading ministers to implement the document, something that will attract more investments, not only from Japanese companies, but also from other countries.

The envoy said the implementation of the blueprint would address various investment challenges, which include work permits and taxation.

He said Japan was ready to further its investments in Tanzania, stressing, however, that improving the business environment was imperative.

“Competition has increased among African countries and this can make companies opt for the nations where investment conditions are better. However, Tanzania is a country with a huge potential in Africa,” he said.

He said, in the past, Japan had an institution - Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), with offices in Nairobi, Kenya and later in Dar es Salaam - which is tasked with promoting trade and investments in African countries.

According to him, the offices were closed when the country launched major reforms, noting that after the reforms, Japan plans to increase its offices in Africa, and will ensure reopening of the office in Tanzania.

“I’m consulting the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC). I raised the matter with the minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ms Kairuki (Angellah) and the Industry and Trade minister Bashungwa (Innocent). I expect a positive response from the government,” he said.