Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR manufacturers should produce high quality goods that would satisfy the demands of international markets, the Minister for State in the Second Vice- President's Office, Mr Mohamed Aboud Mohamed, has said.
"We must produce high quality products that can compete internationally," said Mr Mohamed when responding to perceived grievances by a section of manufacturers that their products were not allowed access to Mainland's market. "I think the best way is to focus on the standard of what we produce and ensure that our products have comparative advantage," he stressed, noting that products made in Zanzibar can only compete in the regional and global markets if they meet required standards.
The Minister, who is also responsible for Union matters, said the Isles manufacturers should not look for favour, rather they must comply with standards regulations as stipulated by World Trade Organisation (WTO) in order to be more competitive both local and international.
He was speaking to the 'Daily News' ahead of the first 'Zanzibar Business Forum,' organised by the Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN), in collaboration with the Isles Vice-President Office, the Ministry of Trade and Industries and Urban West regional administration. "It is unfortunate that we haven't invested much on producing quality goods; we need to change that and see how we can manage to compete internationally. We should aim higher and try to capture the world market; we must ditch politics and think more commercially," he charged.
Mr Mohamed thus implored Zanzibar to move from a traditional way of thinking and doing things and be more dynamic. "We're a little bit conservative; we need to change and embrace modern ways of economy. We have good environment to change and take our economy forward," he stated. He said as an Island, Zanzibar, with a tiny size, should turn its focus to service-oriented economy and that calls for a change of policy.
"For example, why should we depend on agriculture while there are other sectors which could be more economically beneficial to our people? "We should ask ourselves whether agriculture can really liberate our people from poverty. Why, for example, we should not invest in fishing industry? He said the best way to achieve tangible economic success is to utilise on nature rather than competing against it. On investment opportunities available in Zanzibar, the Minister said tourism remains a key investment avenue in Zanzibar.
"There are so many opportunities in the tourism sector which investors can tap on, including construction of hotels and leisure places, transport and other tourist-oriented services," he suggested. Mr Mohamed also provides best environment for higher learning institutions, "Serious investors can build universities and turn Zanzibar a centre of higher education excellence." He also pointed out to health and communication sectors that investors can exploit and benefit from.
"Communication is a big sector, of which one can invest in without the need of a big area of space," the Minister said. Mr Mohamed called upon Tanzanians to rally behind their two governments, as they pursue the country's development agenda, rather than trying to frustrate the executives.