Dar es Salaam — About five international companies are seeking to invest $77.9m (Tsh124bn) at the Tanzania Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), a move which is estimated to create over 3,274 jobs by early 2013.
EPZA said these companies are mostly interested in investing in cashew nuts processing, jewelries and ornament, copper processing, and avocado oil processing.
"In the first year of production, we expect a total sales turnover of $187.45m for all the five companies," said EPZA's Investment Facilitation Officer Mr. Lameck Borega.
Borega said these companies that are eying for investment are from Denmark, Netherland, Vietnam, Pakistan and UK in joint venture with Tanzanian and Korean firms.
He explained Tanzania local companies, in joint venture with Korea firms will establish industrial parks whereby various activities of industry and production will take place.
A Pakistan company will export jewelries and ornaments while a Vietnamese firm will invest in cashew nuts processing in which about 80% will be for export and 20% would be sold in the local market.
The Netherlands Company will invest in avocado oils processing, and the Danish one will venture in copper processing.
"The coming of the five new investors will make a total of 64 investors in EPZA, Borega said, adding that up to date about $867.2m has been invested in EPZA."
EPZA is confident that by January next year two to three investors would start production and by mid-2013 operation of all five companies will be in full operation.
The commencement of production of these companies would in most cases boost Tanzania's exports and increase the country's foreign exchange earnings.
"This is a vital step towards improving the country's competitiveness in exports and bring about foreign earnings in the country," Borega added.
In a period of five years, Tanzania has recorded a tremendous flow of investment into EPZA schemes with local investors taking lead by 44%, thanks to the recent amendment of two acts, Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) Act of 2002 and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act of 2006,.
According to Managing Director of EPZA, Dr. Adelhelm Meru, the legal changes has empowered EPZA to oversee the operations of both the EPZ and SEZ in which an investor is capable of investing under EPZA, but may not be necessarily required to export at least 70% of his products.
"Taking other factors into consideration, the amendment of the two acts has been a reliable tool that has been attracting local and international investors into EPZ and SEZ schemes," Meru said.
According to EPZA, the investments of local companies lead by 44%, followed by foreign firms by 40% while joint venture companies' holds a third position by 16%.
The mostly invested in sectors are agro-processing by 36%, Engineering by 34%, Textile by 20% and Mineral processing by 10%.