Tanzania: Samia's Investment, Business Vow Lauded

MEMBERS of the business community have lauded President Samia Suluhu Hassan's directives to reform the business and investment sector, saying the changes if well implemented would play a great role in national development.

Equally, they proposed for a consultation meeting with the authorities such as Investment docket in the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry and Industry and Trade, as well as Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) which is under the ministry of Finance and Planning for effective implementation of President Samia's directives.

Shortly after swearing in new appointees at the State House in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, President Samia ordered reforms in the investment sector for the country to regain an investor trust and stimulate business.

The Head of State was concerned with the unnecessary bureaucracy on handling investors at the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), issuance of work permit as well as use of force in collecting revenues. She said bureaucracies and improper ways of collecting tax were among key reasons for the collapse of businesses in the country.

President Samia then demanded immediate intervention on the challenges, saying the government should continue facilitating investment and business environment, a move that has been highly welcomed by players in the sector.

Speaking to the 'Daily News', the President of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Paul Koyi said the president is setting a clear vision of upgrading inclusion of the private sector in the national development. He said, if well implemented, President Samia's directives will end all challenges that have been obstructing business persons and investors, especially tax complexity.

"This country is still growing; we need investors and business for economic growth. TCCIA members have received President Samia's vision with expectation that all the challenges are going to be addressed," he said.

According to Mr Koyi, for the proper implementation of the directives, it was crucial for the responsible institutions to engage key players in addressing the challenges in the business sector.

During her speech, President Samia also called for coordination among heads of the relevant public institutions for the country to continue winning the confidence of investors for the future prosperity of the nation.

Commenting, Mr Koyi said it was high time for the government and private sector to bridge an existing gap, saying this would help to remove the notion that Tanzania is unpredictable when it comes to investment and business climate. For his part, the Policy Specialist at the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Mr Frank Dafa said President Samia is on the move to build good relationships between the private and public sector.

He said, to a large extent, the president covered major challenges that hinder growth of businesses in the country. "It is true that the country needs flexible policy and guidelines that would make the country's business environment predictable," he explained.

Mr Dafa seconded the thoughts of TCCIA top official Mr Koyi, on the need for consultation meetings between government institutions and members of the business community.

The Tanzania's business community secretary general, Abdallah Mwinyi, suggested the need of amending the TRA Act on customs tariffs, saying it has been a major challenge especially on the imported goods. He however hailed President Samia's determination to end challenges in business. He said her directives need to be implemented accordingly, for the country to meet all the targets.

"The president has made clear determinations of transforming the business sector, but for effective implementation there is a need to amend the law, since TRA is implementing the law," he said. He added:"The Ministry of Finance and Planning should table the amendments of TRA Act to the Parliament. This will guarantee changes that the Head of State is talking about".

According to President Samia, TRA should collect tax diligently without harassing or scaring businessmen, for the sake of increasing the monthly collections.

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