Tanzania focusing on strengthening export and special economic zones

The Export Processing Zones Authority head office at Mabibo External in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO|FILE

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Promoting trade is a crucial  step towards creation of more jobs  and reaching the country's goal of industrialisation

Dar es Salaam. The government said yesterday that it was focusing on developing the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Export Processing Zones (EPZ) infrastructure as a way of attracting more investment into the industrial sector.

Investment, Industry and Trade Minister Ashatu Kijaji said this in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

She noted that promoting investment was crucial towards job creation and economic growth. Hence, having the SEZ and EPZ necessary infrastructure in place is crucial.

“We’re currently finalising some procedures to ensure the One Stop Centre starts to serve investors efficiently. We’ve already put together nine ministries and only three are left. When the exercise is complete, an investor will get the necessary permits within 24 hours,” she told members of the Parliamentary Budget Committee who toured the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) and various industries housed at the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone.

She said one of the 36 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed at the Dubai Expo 2020 recently was investing in SEZ and EPZ.

Parliamentary Budget Committee chairman Daniel Sillo urged the ministry to present to the committee all the challenges that have been hampering the development of the SEZ and EPZ areas in the country.

“We want to see things moving and more industries being established here,” he said, adding, “We’re ready to work with the government to address all the bottlenecks”.

Committee member Abbas Tarimba commended EPZA for the good job it was doing and urged speeding up development of the other SEZ and EPZ areas to create more jobs for the Tanzanian youth.

Speaking earlier, EPZA director general Charles Itembe said one of the areas that has all the infrastructures complete is the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone but others were still at different stages of development.

Some of the areas that are at the earliest stage of development are Bagamoyo SEZ, Kurasini SEZ, Manyara SEZ, Tanga SEZ, Bunda SEZ, Ruvuma SEZ and Manyoni SEZ.

“Our priority now is to develop the Bagamoyo and Kurasini SEZs that are being listed as national flagship projects in the 2025 National Development Vision,” Mr Itembe said.