Dar es Salaam. A reciprocal relationship between the government and private sector, courtesy of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, is paying dividends in driving economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was the key message the private sector put across on the maiden Private Sector Day.
Speaking during the event, Tanzania Private sector Foundation (TPSF) chairperson Angelina Ngalula said the country has seen key sectors of the economy improving steadily, thanks to good rapport between the government and the private sector.
“Together, we have achieved robust overall economic growth following the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, we have successfully managed to revive the multi-billion-dollar tourism industry through joint efforts by the government and private sector,” said Ms Ngalula, who is also chairperson of the East African Business Council (EABC).
Tourism is a money-spinning industry in Tanzania, accounting for 1.3 million direct jobs, and generating $2.6 billion annually.
However, at the height of the pandemic, the government and private sector had to undertake a number of responses such as the rollout of vaccines, virtual marketing blitz, engaging international marketing company to promote Tanzania as a top-notch tourism destination in USA and organising the Travel Agents FAM trip to the country.
President Hassan’s The Royal Tour documentary also played a key role in attracting tourists and investors to Tanzania.
These efforts have helped to bring the numbers up.
“We have witnessed, CRDB, NMB and TIB banks lower interest rates on agriculture loans to enable farmers to access reasonable credit and spur agriculture with a view to realising the 10/30 agenda” Ms Ngalula noted.
“We’ve seen ratification of the Africa free continental trade area, signing of major bilateral trade agreements for local products to access international markets, enactment of business-friendly policies. These initiatives have played a critical role in restoring confidence among investors and the business community, and improving the business environment and investment climate,” the TPSF chief said.
President Hassan’s state visit to China had significant direct and multiplier-effects on the horticulture industry, as she had essentially unlocked the nearly $150 million strategic Chinese avocado market on top of South Africa and India, thus offering a ray of hope to thousands of avocado growers in Tanzania.
Ms Ngalula praised President Hassan’s multilateral engagements with foreign governments and institutions that facilitated access to capital for the private sector, women and youth.
“The prevailing peace and stability in the country coupled with the government’s increased infrastructure spending, has improved connectivity to markets and benefited the economy,” she said.
As a result, the initiatives coupled with professionalism in tax collection have triggered impressive tax compliance, with official data showing that Tanzania Revenue Authority collected Sh16.69 trillion during the period of March 2021/22, up from Sh13.59 trillion, equivalent to 22.8 percent growth.
“As you are aware, TPSD-22 theme is “Enhancing Private Sector Growth”. As we look towards the new year, we saw the need for our role – the private sector – to be discussed,” Ms Ngalula said, adding, “The private sector intends to build on the success that has been achieved in the last two years in 2021 and 2022.”
Tanzania Private Sector Day is a flagship multi-sector event organised by the TPSF in collaboration with key private sector organisations TCCIA, CTI, TWCC, ZNCC, TCT, ACT, TCM and international business organisations, including the Chinese Business Chamber of Tanzania, Amcham-Tz, Tanzania Indian Business Association, European Business Group, DEİK Türkiye Tanzania Business Council, British Business Group in Tanzania and Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Tanzania and the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade to honour and recognise the contribution of the private sector to the country’s economy.
The objectives of the event was to take stock of the private sector achievements under the Sixth Phase Government, promote business and investments in Tanzania, and enhance the role of the private sector in realisation of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025.
The acting President of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Swallah Saidi Swallah, shared similar sentiments when he spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the event.
“The government, more so the government of President Samia Saluhu Hassan, appreciates and values the contribution of the private sector to building a strong national economy,” he said.
This, he said, explains why Tanzania has opened up for private sector investments from within and foreign countries and the increasing business opportunities seen in the country.
“In all her foreign visits, President Samia Hassan has ensured members of the private sector are part of her entourage to allow Tanzanians to meet and negotiate with their foreign counterparts. As a result of such negotiations, often tripartite memoranda of understanding (MoUs) have been signed between representatives of governments, local and foreign companies,” he said.
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