CREATING a favourable environment for private sector to effectively become an engine of economic growth has been cited as one of the factors that contributed to Tanzania’s attainment to the middle income status.
The World Bank classified Tanzania as a lower middle income economy under its latest country income classifications released on Wednesday, the remarkable achievements attained five years ahead of the Tanzania Development Vision-2025.
The country’s development vision stresses the recognition of individual initiative and the private sector as the central driving forces for building a strong, productive and renewing economy.
It also promotes investment in infrastructure by involving government, private sector and various communities of the society.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, who also doubles as Chief Government Spokesperson, Dr Hassan Abbasi said in Dodoma that, the private sector has played a vital role towards the attainment of the middle income status.
“We cannot talk about these achievements without attributing the role of the private sector in the country’s economy,” he said.
“The government improved business policies and encouraged investments by the private sector in various areas such as industries, finance, communications, health, and agriculture ... this is one of the bases that helped the country to attain the new economic status,” Dr Abbasi said.
He said that the government will continue to improve the private sector by creating an enabling environment for doing businesses.
Dr Abbasi further said that, the government is currently implementing a blueprint which intends to improve business laws and policies with the aim of addressing various challenges facing the business community in the country.
Through the implementation of the blueprint, the government abolished 54 different tax es and fees which were annoying to businesses and put in place a friendly environment through construction of infrastructures to smoothen the movement of goods and services to local and international markets as well as merging regulatory authorities such as TFDA and TBS.
Dr Abbasi added that in the 2020/2021 budget, the government has included several issues related to doing business in the country to further promote the sector.
He, however, noted that the development vision also emphasized that as Tanzania graduated from a least developed country to a middle income country, it should have been transformed from a low productivity agricultural economy to a semi-industrialized one.
Dr Abassi said Tanzania has established 60,000 small and large scale industries since independence, more than 8,000 of which were set up in the nearly five years’ administration of President John Magufuli.
He said that currently, Tanzania is producing variety of products such as food, as well as assembling tractors, among other accomplishments.
Dr Abbasi further said that Tanzania has been consistent in implementing its development vision, which, among other factors, req uires a strong economy.
“We have witnessed the growth of our economy which is at 7 per cent and we don’t ex pect it to drop even with the coronavirus outbreak ... initiatives undertaken to alleviate poverty have also been fruitful as the World Bank 2019 Human Development Report indicated that the poverty rate has continued to decline from 32 per cent to 28 per cent,” he said.