The government said yesterday that it was facing great difficulty in making informed decisions due to unavailability of relevant information on both local and foreign investors.
Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (Investment and Empowerment) Dr Mary Nagu said this in Dar es Salaam when launching the Africa Investment Report and Investment Monitoring Platform prepared jointly by the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).
“We have been facing challenges in setting specific sectoral strategies as well as incentives that will add value to economic growth due to lack of pertinent information from the business community,” she said.
Elaborating, she said that it becomes difficult for the country to attract investors in productive sectors without relevant information. Dr Nagu said currently the government’s focus was to attract investors in sectors likely to create more employment opportunities.
According to her, Tanzania through the TIC has attracted a growing number of foreign and local investors. She said that by March this year more than 7,000 investment projects, worth more than USD 50,000 million, were registered at the TIC and that they were expected to create 990,000 jobs.
The minister said it had not established yet whether all registered projects had kicked off and that record on their contribution into the country’s economy was still unknown.
She the return of investment versus incentives offered by the government has been a recurring question since there were no clear evidences that increase in revenue collection had direct link to investments that received incentives.
Dr Nagu applauded the TIC and UNIDO for establishing the platform, which she said, would improve linkages between local and international companies.
Speaking on behalf of the private sector, Chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Felix Mosha said the private sector was performing well as revealed by the launched Africa Investment Report.
He said the report has shown that domestic investors have invested mostly on projects using high technology compared to foreign investors.
Mosha said domestic investments create many employments to youths, adding that local investors once enabled with good environment they can invest to a tune of USD 18 billion.
He challenged the government to encourage Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) due to its importance in the country’s development. “FDI are critical for development, but we’re yet to succeed in attracting adequate and quality investments” he noted.
Unido Country Representative Emmanuel Kalenzi said that establishment of the Investment Monitoring Platform would facilitate investment promotion and enable African governments receive feedback from investors.
“We aim at creating a competitive environment for attracting new investments within African countries,” he said. Kalenzi said that Unido also plans to strengthen the capacity of TIC and the private sector.
For his part, Representative of the European Union Gianluca Azzoni said that the private sector was vital for development and job creation. He said the launched platform would link foreign and local companies and provide the government with relevant investors’ data.
TIC Acting Executive Director Raymond Mbilinyi said the platform has been launched jointly by 19 African countries and the door is open for other countries to participate.