Arusha — Zanzibar has appealed for increased foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the blue economy projects.
The Isles is open for investments in diverse sectors of the blue economy such as deep sea fishing and maritime transport.
Other segments are ports infrastructure development projects, petroleum and gas and tourism.
"Zanzibar also requires heavy investment in modern agriculture, real estate and conference tourism," said President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
Investment in the blue economy would also spur business within the East African Community (EAC) through increased national revenues. Dr Mwinyi made the appeal in Zanzibar on Friday evening during CEO Round Table Engagement dinner.
The event, which was organized by the East African Business Council (EABC), brought together business people and private sector mandarins in the islands.
The President's speech was read on his behalf by Second Vice President Hemed Suleiman Abdulla.
He challenged the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce to rally the island's business community in order to expose them to investment opportunities.
Speaking during the event, EAC secretary general Peter Mathuki said the blue economy was dear to the Community.
"It has huge potential for investment, especially for Tanzania and Kenya with shorelines on the Indian Ocean," he noted.
"Japan has really made good use of its blue economy. I look forward to a future where East Africa will also be a bastion of the blue economy," he added.
Dr Mathuki noted that Zanzibar, like other EAC member states, was heavily dependent on tourism which had been severely hit by the Covid-19.
He disclosed that the Community would soon convene a Tourism Summit in Zanzibar "to explore ways of mitigating the damaging impact of the pandemic".
In her remarks, EABC's Policy, SMEs, Market Access and Gender manager Miriam Mondosha called for harmonization of domestic taxes in the EAC.
These are namely excise duties, value-added taxes and income taxes, she said, adding that different tax regimes posed a major hindrance to the integration process.