Officiating at the launch of the 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) yesterday, the premier said the industrialization drive being pursued by the current government can only yield fruits with a robust local market for manufactured products.
The sector now employs about nine million people, distanced by agriculture which employs the main part of the productive population in the country, and the service sector.
Industry is a major contributor to the country’s entrance into middle income economy status as recently announced by the World Bank, he stated.
The sector’s contribution to the national economy increased in the last five years from 8.05 percent to 8.5percent, “a great achievement which must be supported through emphasis on consumption of local products,” he emphasized.
He appealed to the public to consume locally-manufactured products for the country to create more jobs and record faster economic growth.
The government has put in place various initiatives to protect local industries including imposing higher taxes on imported goods, he said.
“We have been preaching industrialization and we have so far achieved a lot, but we need to protect these industries by coming up with strategies that emphasize on Tanzanians to consume locally made products,” he stated.
The premier hailed preparations for this year’s DITF taking into considerations an environment poisoned by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
This year’s DITF is being marked under the theme ‘Industrial Economy for Employment and Sustainable Trade.’
Innocent Bashungwa, the minister for Trade and Industry, earlier said the government intends to hire trade officials for attachment to various foreign missions.
There are 2,827 local companies and individuals participating in this year’s DITF, with 47 foreign companies, he said.
He pledged continued support to entrepreneurs as the government at all levels is working to ensure a good business environment.
“We have started and we will continue providing entrepreneurs with industrial shades. We are doing this in collaboration with municipal and district councils,” the minister noted, expressing the hope that this measure will enable the budding firms to grow further.
DITF has established itself as a key trade event in East Africa. Held annually, the fair is an ideal platform for companies to showcase their products on a regional and pan-African platform.
The fair has grown is stature over the years and has been attracting more than a 1,000 companies, including regional and overseas firms to participate.