EPZA Director General Adelhelm Meru awarded certificates to the three firms - Tanzania Tooku Garments Limited, Maptex Limited and Tanga-based Neelkanth Lime Limited - during a brief ceremony at EPZA's Mabibo headquarters in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.
Tanzania Tooku Garments and Maptex Limited, Chinese and Pakistani firms, respectively, will invest in garments production while Neelkanth, a joint venture between India and Tanzanian investors, deals with lime product processing. The three projects have potential of creating 2,112 direct jobs and earning the country 76 million US dollars (over 120bn/-) in exports.
Dr Meru urged Tanzanians to embrace and welcome foreign investors without whom the country can hardly develop, economically.
"Unfortunately, sometimes Tanzanians perceive investors negatively - true, there are some few investors who abuse the country's rules and regulations but that cannot justify generalisation of all investors as being awful," argued Dr Meru, cautioning, "No country on earth had developed without investors."
He asked local entrepreneurs to aggressively grab the immense investment opportunities in the country, "It's time for local Tanzanians to come forward and invest instead of sitting aside and watching foreigners - we, Tanzanians, have to lead the way."
The investors expressed pleasure to acquire the investment licences under the incentive-rich EPZ scheme.
"I'm too excited to talk - suffice it to say that we are glad to have this certificate that paves way for our investment expansion," said Neelkanth Lime Director Rashidi Hamoud. Maptex Limited's Muhammad Owais Pardeli talked of conducive investment environment in Tanzania, saying, "We have experienced the favourable investment environment in Tanzania and we are glad to have secured this certificate to invest under EPZ."
EPZA data show that 700 million US dollars (over 1trn/-) worth of investments have created 14,000 direct jobs, with 450 million US dollars (over 700bn/-) in exports since the EPZ scheme became operational some five years ago. EPZ programme, established following the enactment of the Export Processing Zones Act, 2002, provides for establishment of export oriented investments within the designated zones.
The programme objectives are to attract and encourage transfer of new technology, attract and promote investment for export led industrialization, create and expand foreign exchange earnings as well as increase employment and development of skilled labour.