With incentives like 10 years exemption of Corporate and Value Added Tax (VAT) on raw materials, Tanzania is luring investors from all over the world and China leads the pack.
A delegation of 10 Chinese investors were in the country earlier this week and expressed interest in taking advantage of the incentives.
The incentives apply exclusively to companies that set up shop in the designated Export Tanzania where investors are exempted even import duty on raw materials and construction materials.
.As part of Tanzania’s efforts to create conducive business environment and attract more direct foreign investment, the country has established several export processing zones within which investors get various incentives that make it profitable to operate in the country.
Lameck Borega, the Investment Facilitation Manager at the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) told press the EPZA welcomes investment in manufacturing, agriculture, agri-business, infrastructure and wood and timber.
Mr Huang Zhaojin, head of the Chinese delegation and President of the China-Asia Economic Development Association acknowledged Tanzania’s friendly business environment and their dedication to investing in the country.
He readily expressed the delegations excitement and willingness to invest. Short of offering an exact amount he said; “…we are ready to invest our money in the said sectors.”
He said the delegation and other investors will be lured by what he described as ‘the country’s good investment policies.’
The investors were further enticed by the extensive and growing regional market that include several preferential trading blocs, the East African Community, Southern African Development Community and trade agreements like the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
James Maziku, Acting Director at the EPZA Investment, Promotion and Facilitation seconded his colleague and expressed how the government has addressed red tape cases to ease investment and trade in the country.
He assured the delegation that the government has removed most all challenging bureaucratic procedures that otherwise rose investment cost and hardened doing business in key sectors.
The Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) is an autonomous Government agency governed by a Board of Directors. It operates under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. EPZA is responsible for steering and implementing government policy on promotion of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Tanzania.
Other functions of EPZA include the development of EPZ and SEZ infrastructure, provision of business services to EPZ and SEZ investors and issuing of EPZ and SEZ licenses. The Authority functions as a One Stop Service Centre for all prospective and existing investors.
The EPZ scheme promotes investment in manufacturing sector mainly for export while SEZ scheme involves other sectors such as , Trade, Tourism, Mining, Forestry and Agriculture.
Investment Facilitation Services
EPZA provides pre and after care services that include provision of guidance and comprehensive information about the establishment of EPZ and SEZ investment in Tanzania.
The EPZA facilitates investors in obtaining factory space or serviced land in or outside the existing industrial / commercial parks, company registration process, administrative procedures in getting tax incentive and in obtaining
Provision of SEZ Infrastructure
EPZA is required by law to establish and regulate appropriate industrial and commercial parks to enable faster set up of EPZ and SEZ investments.
SEZ infrastructure development is undertaken by EPZA in collaboration with the private sector. Infrastructure opportunities range from development of privately owned industrial or commercial parks to various forms of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with EPZA. Once such infrastructures are developed, they declare as Special Economic Zones and thereafter the SEZ developer may sublease or sell factory space or serviced land on commercial basis to users.
As an Investment Promotion Authority, EPZA provides reliable and relevant information to investors to assist them in establishing their investments in Tanzania SEZs such information includes available investment opportunities, market information and other information related to SEZ investments.
EPZ and SEZ Licenses and Permits
EPZA is mandate by law to issue EPZ and SEZ licenses. These licenses are synonymous with the business licenses issued by Local Government Authorities and other Regulatory Authorities.
Once an investor obtains the EPZ or SEZ licenses he or she does not require any other license except for highly regulated industries like food and drugs