Entrepreneurs advocate better investment environment

17Feb 2018
Friday Simbaya
The Guardian
Entrepreneurs advocate better investment environment

INVESTORS have urged the government to improve the investment environment so as to better implement the industrialisation drive being touted by the government.

Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan

The call was made recently as Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan visited Iringa Foods and Beverages (IFB) factory on her tour of the region.

IFB Executive Director Suhail Thakorea said the availability of permits for importing sugar was one of the biggest challenges the factory faced.

Thakorea said in 2017/2018 sugar demand was at 3,000 tonnes but only 848 tonnes was allowed to be imported, saying this was threatening the factory’s production.

He said increased demand in industrial sugar resulted from increased productivity caused by market growth.

“Previously it was difficult for us to compete as some of our products were imported into the country and sold at a lower price,” he said.

He said currently local goods were being promoted and so many counterfeits and substandard goods were being seized thus increasing the market for quality goods.

“The government needs to find a quick solution to industrial sugar imports by ensuring there is clear guidance on them,” he said.

According to him, apart from a candy and chocolate factory established in 2007, the establishment was involved in the production of various cocoa powder, tomato and chill sauce products.

"All our products, and especially candies and cocoa powder, are very competitive in the foreign market and products that are produced in many other countries including Kenya," he said.

Speaking of the development of the factory, Thakorea said it had traversed various stages of its revolution from a small factory to the current size while employing 150 people, 105 of whom have permanent jobs.

He said a large portion of raw materials for production wasa produced in the country including cocoa from Kyela district in Mbeya region, tomato from Ilula in Kilolo district, Iringa region, and maize from Ruvuma and Rukwa regions.

For her part, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the government was doing its best to improve the investment environment and promised to address the challenges that threatened the factory.

She praised the products produced by the factory, saying their quality made it easier for them to compete in the international market.

The vice-president said the company's commitment to the factory, the huge investment outlay and the use of modern technology made the factory a success story which clearly defined the state-of-the-art industrial revolution.

She said the nation was proud of having such a factory whose products were competitive in the international market.

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