Covid-19 has lessons for business community, says Prime Minister

Saturday July 4 2020

 

By Gadiosa Lamtey and Alex Malanga

Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on July 3 said the current Covid-19 pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for business leaders to prepare for such crises.

The Covid-19 pandemic, whose first case in Tanzania was confirmed in mid-March this year, has been disruptive for most organisations and businesses across Tanzania, with a vast majority of business owners reporting drastic declines in sales over the past several months.

Gracing the official opening of the 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), Premier Majaliwa said it was high time business leaders came up with strategies to scale up  pro- duction in sectors such as manufacturing industries, trade and agriculture.

“This would help us to meet domestic demand and export the surplus to the rest of the world,” noted Mr Majaliwa.

Now is the time to get businesses ready for the future, and perhaps the pandemic may be a ‘blessing in disguise’ to help various sectors be able to in future navigate in the crisis.

That is why, he said, in this year’s DITF there would be B2B - an ideal way for small and medium-size businesses, to build connections and to find new clients and potential cooperation partners.

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“The government is with you shoulder to shoulder to ensure business environments remain promising,” pledged Mr Majaliwa.

 He said through the blueprint - regulatory reforms meant to improve investments climate, some 163 charges have been scrapped.

This year’s trade fair has brought together some 2,880 participants, with local ones (2,837) accounting for 98.5 per- cent of the total number. The rest (43 participants) are foreign participants from Syria, India, China, United Arab Emir ates (UAE) and Ghana.   “So far, Tanzania is a safe place and that is why even this trade fair has attracted a large number of participants from within and outside the country,” the premier  asserted.

However, a number of participants slipped slightly from 3,250 registered last year to this year’s 2,880.

“We thank all participants who have joined us and today we witness a large number of people that we did expect during this time of Covid-19,” said Mr Majaliwa. 

Speaking earlier, Industry and Trade minister Innocent Bashungwa pledged to work closely with the private sector with a view to promoting the manufacturing industry.

He said until April this year a total of 8,477 manufacturing industries have been established. He said while out of the new industries, the number of large scale industries is 201 that for medium scale is 460.