- Mkumbo says the government will restore investment confidence, boost the private sector and make it stable in foreign markets, especially in the regional business community
Dar es Salaam. The sixth-phase government of President Samia Suluhu Hassan has assured the private sector that the state will not be competing in doing business. Instead, it expressed its commitment to working with private sector operators in promoting the development of industries to widen its tax base.
The position was expressed at the weekend by the minister for Industry and Trade, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, during a meeting of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) organised by the German Development Agency GIZ to discuss the future of the industrial sector in the country.
Prof Mkumbo outlined the six priorities of the government - which he called “the position of the sixth-phase government” under the direction of President Hassan in promoting the private sector - and the issue of differentiating trade with the government was among them.
He also said stakeholders’ involvement in finding solutions to emerging challenges and policy formulation is a priority - as is adherence to the rule of law and institutional decision-making in accordance with laid-down procedures.
“If there is a matter, it will be presented to the relevant stakeholders in a specific order - and not just one person making a decision as they see fit, but by existing institutions through procedures and adherence to the set policy,” he said.
The government believes the six steps will restore investment confidence, boost the private sector and make it stable in foreign markets, especially in the regional business community.
However, Prof Mkumbo urged the industrial community to think on how to achieve the fourth industrial revolution - and not just meet only to discuss the current problems but also opportunities lying ahead.
The participants spoke of taxation and other challenges affecting the well-being of Tanzanian industries, saying that for the most part, many solutions have been found, and other challenges continue to be addressed.
“We shall ensure that decisions made by the ministry consider inputs from the private sector,” he said - stressing that the government will not compete in doing business, but will improve the business climate so as to get more tax revenues.
However, the government will strategically invest in businesses that do not attract private sector investors due to its low profitability; businesses that are essential for the well-being of the nation and its people.
Prof Mkumbo further said that the sixth-phase government will put in place policies that are in line with the current environment, but will not repeat past mistakes. It will also ensure transparency in government priorities to enable investors to know where investing is most attractive.
A desk study conducted by CTI with support of GIZ, Creating perspective discovered that, among other issues, the top issues that affect competitiveness of manufacturing industries are multiple taxes and charges, tariff and NTB, forward-backward linkages, input materials and skills gap.
CTI CEO Leodger Tenga said the issue of the implementation of the government’s plan to improve business (Blue Print), that includes work permits and other challenges if done soon will help industrial prosperity
“CTI believes that, if these issues are addressed, manufacturing sector will flourish and create many jobs and contribute to the economic development of the country” he said.
He said the government should improve the business environment to attract more investment, through this process, the government will collect more revenues.