The government has encouraged both local and foreign investors
to take advantage of the investment opportunities under the Export Processing
Zones Authority (EPZA) for their benefits and for the benefit of the country.
The Deputy Minister for Industries and Trade, Hon. Janeth
Mbene (MP) said; investors stand a better chance to be successful if they invest
through the EPZ and SEZ schemes due to the efficiency of the schemes in terms
of facilitation and the incentives package offered by the Authority under the
EPZ and SEZ Laws. She said, through the
two schemes, investors could easily access the global markets including the
markets which have special preferential trade arrangements with Tanzania like AGOA
of the United States, EBA of the European Union, as well as the EAC and SADC
Hon. Mbene gave these remarks when she visited the Tanzania
Tooku Garments Co. LTD; a textile industry which is operating at Benjamin
William Mkapa Special Economic Zone at Mabibo External Dar es salaam over the
weekend. The company produces a range of
textile products especially jeans and shirts for exports.
" Investing in such areas has a lot of benefits; EPZA
offers investment land and the Authority operates as a one stop service centre,
this is a big advantage to any investor who intends to invest in
manufacturing", said Hon. Mbene. She encouraged investors to invest massively
through the two schemes and stressed that the government is more than ready to continue
creating conducive investment and business climate in the country.
" I am happy to
see that this industry employs a lot of Tanzanians...this is what the
to achieve," she noted.
On his part, the Tooku Deputy General Manager Mr. Rigobert
Massawe said that their factory produces jeans and T-shirts for export in the
United States of America through the AGOA scheme."We produce for the US
market," he said, adding that they are currently expanding their market to
start selling in the United Kingdom. According to the Manager, they
have so far employed neary 1000 direct employees, and the number will increase to
3000 in the coming one year. Their plan is to increase the number of workers to
15,000 by 2025.
Before visiting the textile industry, the Deputy
Minister held talks with EPZA officials and assured them of the government’s
support in their endeavours. " I’m highly impressed with the progress made so
far by EPZA on fast-tracking the industrialization process in the country ",
said Hon. Mbene. She said industrialization is absolutely important for
Tanzanian economy as it a crucial means for employment creation, income
generation, importation of new technologies, generation of foreign currency as
well as promotion of value addition to our local resources.
On his part Dr. Meru said that EPZA management was
happy to see that the number of local investors in the EPZ and SEZ schemes was
speedily increasing. He said that the increase was a result of an intensive
sensitization campaign which involved conducting meetings with various Local
Government Authorities as well as participating in various exhibitions and
local investment forums. " We launched a special investment promotion campaign
last year to sensitize local investors to take advantage of the available
opportunities and benefits in the EPZ and SEZ schemes; and so far we have
tremendous results", said Dr. Meru. He said out of all the companies producing
under EPZA licenses; 44% are local, 14% are joint venture companies between
local and foreign investors, whereas 42% are foreign companies.
EPZA has so
far registered 113 companies which have set up factories at different locations
in the country. These companies have invested over US$
1.12 billion and have created over 27,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs. A
total value of exports from industries under the authority has reached USD 700
million. The authority has
earmarked EPZ/SEZ sites in 19 regions where
each site is in the magnitude between 500 – 9000 hectors.
According to available statistics, the
contribution of industrial sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
rose from 9.6 per cent in 2010/2011 up to 9.9 per cent in 2011/2012. Direct employment within the sector
rose from 115,022 in 2011 up to 120,840 in 2012. Experts say that the EPZ and
SEZ schemes will shortly be the key components in the industrial sector
contribution to the GDP.