Reinforce links with private sector, US envoy tells govt

18Jun 2019
Felister Peter
The Guardian
Reinforce links with private sector, US envoy tells govt

THE government needs to reinforce its relationship with the private sector by removing obstacles thwarting their daily operations, the US envoy said yesterday.

US Embassy, Dr Inmi Patterson.

The Chargé d' Affaires of the US Embassy, Dr Inmi Patterson said the private sector is a key partner in scaling up the country’s socio-economic development and job creation required to boost economic growth.

“Policy reforms should support the private sector by removing obstacles for doing business. Our companies look for predictable policies, ease of doing business and adhesion to the rule of law,” said Dr Patterson at the Tanzania – US business dialogue forum in Dar es Salaam.

The dialogue was meant to discuss challenges that investors face and steps the government could take to improve the business and investment climate.

She urged the government to work on long standing issues to facilitate business and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI). She said that businesses need a legal, regulatory and taxation framework that is consistent and transparent to operate successfully.

Patterson stated that American companies seek resolution to long standing issues such as the length of time to obtain permits, paying taxes and changing regulations and fees.

“We are looking to do business in Tanzania but with Tanzanian partners, a free, fair and mutually beneficial trade that adheres to international trade rules. Job creation for both Americans and Tanzanians,” intoned the US diplomat.

She said though the country’s 2019/2020 budget provides new incentives for investors including reduction of corporate income tax for local sanitary pads producers and elimination of import value added tax (VAT) on inputs for agricultural and horticultural products, investors would wish to propose potential incentives which could spur new investments.

American businesses have invested over US $ 4.7 billion in Tanzania and have generated 52,000 direct jobs in the last 28 years, according to statistics from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

In her remarks, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Investment), Angela Kairuki said the government is implementing policy reforms so as to strike an appropriate balance between the rights and obligations of investors and the need to protect foreign investors.

“We have strong private sector collaboration between the two countries. The presence of around 238 American investors registered at TIC shows that Tanzania is a potential US investment destination,” she said, noting that America’s investment in Tanzania from 990 to 2018 is estimated at$4,719.71 million.

US companies have invested in agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing, petroleum, energy, construction, telecommunications and services, said Kairuki.

Apart from policy reforms, the government in its 2019/2020 budget estimates provides a number of incentives for investors as well as implementation of the blueprint to address cumbersome investment and business procedures.

TIC Executive Director Geoffrey Mwambe assured investors that the government will continue to improve the business and investment environment.

He said the US is among leading countries with huge investment stocks in Tanzania with a total of 239 registered projects valued at $ 4,719.71 million.

Others leading countries are China with 723 projects worth $ 5,962.74 million and Britain with 936 projects valued at $ 5,540.07 million.

Factors enabling investors to invest in Tanzania include peace and harmony, economic stability, investment guarantees and rich natural resources which include arable land, natural gas, minerals, tourist attractions and a relatively cheap labour force, he added.

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