3 July 2014

Tanzania: Investment Policy 'Favours Foreigners'

Moshi — LOCAL investors have proposed that the nation puts in place trade restrictions so as to favour them against their foreign counterparts.

They have gone to the extent of appealing to members of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to insert 'dos' and 'don'ts' in trade instead of the free market that has brought about hopelessness in the sector.

A prominent businessman and local investor, Mr Joachim Minde said the current system does no justice to the locals as it favours foreign investors.

Mr Minde who runs Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge at Moshi, Laitolya Tours & Safaris Ltd and several hotels in Arusha alleged that a vivid example is on investment in natural resources such as land and minerals. He was contributing to a review of The National Investment Policy and Act.

Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) Northern Zone was collecting views from stakeholders after the government completed an Investment Policy Review Framework. Mr Minde was of the opinion that foreigners be given a limited investment period whilst giving their local counterparts long investment durations because it is their country.

The local investors proposed that there is a need for an investment system overhaul so as to broaden tax base and make sure those who have it pay the required tax and ensure economy growth.

Mr Minde was upbeat that changing the investment policy would help internal investors create jobs for many youths who are wandering about in the streets despite having graduated from local varsities and colleges.

Other businessmen, Mr Emmanuel Masenga and Jonas Mshiu asked TIC to protect local factories against importation of cheap and substandard goods, something that makes it difficult for locals to compete.

They were at one with an economist from the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Bariki Mwasaga, who said the investment policy and consequent act of 1996 and 1997 respectively were outdated and needed an overhaul.

The investors said proposals put forward by the Government would help face out bureaucracy from the authorities responsible in investment issues.

In his paper, Mr Mwasaga from the Prime Minister's Office (Policy and Planning Department), said the policy and act are needed to take on board current national broad goals like National Development Vision 2025, and that is the rationale for review.

TIC Northern Zone Acting Manager, Mr George Mukono, said all the proposals put forward by stakeholders would be put in consideration in bettering investment climate and removing barriers to investors as per their requests.

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