TANZANIA marked the 23rd Africa Industrialization Day with a strong message for both state and non-state actors to change mindset and work closely to unearth trade barriers to boost the industrial sector's contribution on the economy.
This was said in Dar es Salaam by the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, at the event which was also used to launch the 'Tanzania Industrial Competitiveness Report (TICR) - 2012' that highlighted among others the present country's industrial status in relation to the rest in the East, Southern Africa and Asian region.
"The TICR report is a significant input and would inspire the current government efforts to help the industrial sector grow competitively and enhance its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as poverty alleviation," he said.
Dr Kigoda reiterated that the government has a strong political will to continue improving conducive and predictable investment climate to attract capital intensively into the industrial sector to bolster productivity as a way of ending supply constraint factor.
In 2011, the industrial sector contribution on the country's exports was 19 per cent and 9.7 per cent for GDP. However, Dr Kigoda said the figure is still very small, calling upon all stakeholders to stop doing 'business as usual' and put theories into practice.
Some of the TICR key findings show that 97 per cent of the country's manufacturing sector is based on small scale enterprises, with little emphasis put in value addition, thus making 70 per cent of its exports being raw materials.
In his opening remarks, the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Chairman, Mr Felix Mosha, underscored for a swift need to address trade barriers which have been increasing the cost of doing business in the country.
Mr Mosha called upon the government to take stern measures to control the influx of substandard and counterfeit goods, saying that the malpractice would discourage potential investors in the industrial sector.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Country Representative, Mr Emmanuel Kalenzi, said Africa deserves to fetch better value from the market, get premium returns to investment and transform lives from poverty to prosperity.
He cited an example that Tanzania is third largest livestock producer in Africa and exports hides and skins to India, Italy and China. In Tanzania, a consumer buys a finished product like shoes and jacket by paying all production costs such as transport, labour and electricity to the foreign manufacturers. "How can the continent develop under such deals where a consumer pays for every cost?" he queried.