The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has commended the government for taking concerted measures to contain global shocks caused by Covid-19 and Russia– Ukraine conflict.
The TPSF chairperson, Ms Angelina Ngalula said the government’s bold measures helped to contain imported inflation that would have made the economy paralyse.
“We have witnessed economic growth despite the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine. We have also witnessed good control of inflation where our fellow countries are going through a difficult time due to high inflation,” she said. Ms Ngalula was speaking during the event to mark the 2022 Private Sector Day in Dar es Salaam, adding “We commend the government for the major reforms in the past two years,” Ms Ngalula said in the past two years, they have witnessed the improvement of the business environment and an environment that is resolved and provides a solution for local and foreign investors to invest, where many investors have been attracted to invest in Tanzania for the regional and African markets.
TPSF has witnessed the strengthening of relations between the private and public sectors as well as joint participation and improvement of various policies that have stimulated economic growth in the country.
“Under President Samia Suluhu Hassan, we have witnessed commercial barriers in regional markets being removed and international markets being opened,” she said.
She said President Samia took steps to rebrand Tanzania during the difficult period of the pandemic and was able to travel to different parts of the country without fearing the effects of the pandemic and now the tourism sector has improved and has attracted many tourists.
Another area where Ms Ngalula commends the government is in terms of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) who have been empowered by being given places to do business and farmers being given loans as well as reducing interest from banks.
The government has been able to manage the women and youth (SMEs), that’s why women attended the TPSF Day to appreciate/ value to enjoy their day.
Ms Ngalula said TPSF will continue to work hard to pay taxes and cooperate with the government in building the country. She said they will cooperate with small traders to strengthen and empower budding startup companies so that there is growth in subsequent major reforms.
Oh, For her part, the Minister for Investment, industry and Trade Dr Ashatu Kijaji hailed TPSF for being creative in organising TPSF Day 2022 to assess the challenges they face and that the government is ready to cooperate with them in all the steps they take.
She said the government’s mission is to increase and stimulate the business environment to continue attracting investors. Dr Kijaji said nowadays when she is invited by the private sector she is not worried because the government has improved to the great extent the business environment.
“Formerly, when you were invited to an event like this you were preparing to listen to challenges, but as we have witnessed today, we have heard them hailing the government, we have heard the great contribution of the government to local and foreign investors. I congratulate President Samia for their efforts in creating a good business environment and helping business people conduct their activities without getting distractions.
However, Dr Kijaji urged stakeholders to participate fully in the process.
Dr Kijaji told TPSF that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) market was an opportunity that could be utilised by Tanzanians to attract investors to produce goods and sell them in the local market and the AfCFTA market. If the production takes place in the country most jobs will be created in the value chain from rural to urban areas.
Dr Kijaji said that to recognise the importance of the AfCFTA agreement, the government has engaged various experts and investor experts around the country to obtain information and stakeholder views on the implementation of the agreement in Tanzania.
Dr Kijaji said Tanzania is among the first seven countries that will officially start trading under the auspicious of AfCFTA rules coming next June.
“As a country, we have to deliver products that will be sold and so far we have reached nine products and we should deliver for five years without shaking,” said Dr Kijaji She asked the private sector to cooperate with startup businesses so that they can reach the market together and raise the country’s economy.
She said that Tanzania has developed a large infrastructure to be able to enter the AfCFTA and thus be able to take steps to participate in the market. She said the country should capitalise on the advantage of being in the first phase to maximise its export to the continent.
Under AfCFTA, the country’s businesspersons should consider a market of 1.3 billion people, with a combined GDP of 3.4 trillion US dollars across the continent.
The AfCFTA agreement will reduce tariffs among member countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services and regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical trade barriers.