EPZA capital investments, export earnings jump up

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has attracted capital worth 2 billion US dollars (over 5.3tri/-) in the last ten years, contributing about 2.5 billion US dollars (6.5tri/-) of export earnings.

This was unveiled in Dar es Salaam at the weekend by the EPZA Director General Mr Charles Itembe during the three day visits of the President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló in the country who also got an opportunity to visit the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone (BWM-SEZ).

“The EPZA success story in attracting capital and increasing export earnings is largely attributed to government’s continued efforts to create enabling environment in the country,” he noted.

During the period under review, EPZA has registered more than 250 factories in different sectors which have contributed more than 60,000 direct jobs and more than 100,000 indirect jobs in various sectors including agriculture, mineral processing, packaging, meat and products wood.

Among the factories that the Guinea Bissau president managed to visit is the jeans factory of Tanzania Tooku Garment, where all products are sold in the United States.

The Guinea Bissau President was pleased with how factories were working efficiently, thus giving the message that Africa can achieve its goals through EPZ and SEZ programmes.

Mr Itembe told the Guinea Bissau President that the BWM SEZ area itself has 21 buildings where all are active in production, and in that area alone, more than 4,500 Tanzanians are directly employed, and 8,600 indirectly employed.

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Also, the BWM SEZ has attracted a total of 51.9 million US dollars capital, exports reaching 160.8 million US dollars and expenditures to the country being 82.9 million US dollars, where the leading sectors are agro processing, smart cards, coffee, and textile.

According to Mr Itembe, EPZA which stands for the creation of a special economic zone focuses on attracting investment through the establishment of both public and private special economic zones. The government is fully dedicated to facilitating the development of this project, recognising its potential benefits.

The EPZA project offers all the necessary amenities required by potential investors, creating a promising environment for economic growth and prosperity.

For example, the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone (BWMSEZ), which is a Special Economic Zone, is one of the government’s initiatives of enabling the country to attain semi-industrialization status.

He said the zone is occupied by different industries manufacturing a range of products across sectors such as garments, agro-processing, engineering, and high-tech.

The overall industrial development strategy of Tanzania seeks to leverage the natural advantage of being a maritime nation, with a strategic geo-location of being the natural international trade gateway for more than six hinterland countries.

He said EPZA is well placed to offer a wide range of investor support services under one roof in the One Stop Service Centre.

The Centre provides services such as provision of guidance and comprehensive information about the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and special Economic Zones (SEZ) investments in Tanzania.

It facilitates investors in obtaining factory space or serviced land in or outside the existing industrial/ commercial parks, company registration process, administrative procedures in getting tax incentives and in obtaining visas and work permits.

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