Tanzania Industry and Trade minister Dr Cyril Chami.

Tanzania has asked for loan from the Swedish government to invest and develop investment areas under the Export and Processing Zones (EPZs) with significant potential to accelerate economic growth.

Industry, Trade and Marketing Minister Cyril Chami said in a joint press briefing with the Swedish delegation in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that, “We have demarcated EPZs in 17 regions that could offer opportunity for the government to develop but also an opportunity for Swedish investors to come and make joint investment…the government is committed to working cordially with investors.”

Dr Chami told the Swedish delegation, headed by the Minister of Trade Ms Eva Bjorling, that Tanzania prefers loans over grants because repayable money enhances the sense of responsibility.

He cited Bagamoyo District where about 9,000 hectares have been earmarked for EPZ investments, referring to the envisaged Mbegani port as an important opportunity for investors.

The minister assured the Swedish government of diligent work and tireless efforts to address obstacles that have been frustrating investors. The Swedes had decried bureaucratic tax regime, corruption and acute shortage of power as impediments to their planned investments in Tanzania.

Dr Chami said the fourth phase government has waged the war against corruption that has seen some senior government officials being prosecuted. He appealed for support from Stockholm in mass awareness campaign against the social vice.

The minister said there were short and long term investment plans to address the power woes in the country. Ms Bjorling reaffirmed the Swedish commitment to support various development projects particularly on capacity building, with the aim of moving from aid provider to trade facilitator.

She called for concerted efforts to enhance transparencies in all sectors and remove trade barriers particularly in customs to attract investments from Sweden and other parts of the world. She extended an invitation to the regional bloc to participate to an investment conference due in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, later this year, observing that getting businesspeople to talk to each other would set the stage for increased trade between Sweden and Tanzania.

BySEBASTIAN MRINDOKO, Tanzania Daily News

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