Tanzania Trade Sector Prepares Zones for Investors

As a result of the recent Benjamin William Mkapa Export Processing Zone (EPZ), local traders within the Tanzania trade sector will be given the opportunity to improve the overall quality of their goods prior to their exportation.

According to a report by the Citizen, the Director General of the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), Dr. Adelhelm Meru, has indicated that this center was designed to provide opportunities to both local and foreign investors.

“We have established that most of our commodities are exported as raw materials,” said De. Meru to members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee earlier this week, “We need to add value to them and sell finished goods which fetch relatively high price abroad.”

Dr. Meru went on to clarify that in order to qualify for eligibility for the EPZ, the EPZA was planning for at least 80 percent of the goods that were processed or produced to be exported in addition to classifying the center as a verified new investment.

“The annual export turnover (of the company to be admitted at the EPZ) should be not less than $500,000 for foreign investments and $100,000 for local investments,” Dr Meru said in the Citizen.

In addition, Dr. Meru said that 14 other regions in the country have been selected to become either Export Processing Zones and/or Special Economic Zones.

Dr. Meru went on to indicate that each of these 14 sites covered an area of approximately 2000 hectares and, according to a report in last month’s Guardian, he also indicated that each of the zones had already established the necessary infrastructure and utility services.

According to this Guardian report, the Tanzania Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been identified as ideal areas in which to alleviate some of the negative effects that have been felt as a result of current world financial crisis and Dr. Meru has, thus, called upon investors to further develop these proposed facilities.

At this time, Dr. Meru says that there are only three zones in the country that are operating as industrial parks, the Millennium Business Park and the Hifadhi EPZ in Dar es Salaam and the Kisongo EPZ in Arusha.

Thus far, a reported 20 applications have been received from interested investors, both local and foreign.

According to the Guardian report, investors in EPZ and SEZ can expect to accrue benefits such as ten year’s exemption from corporate tax as well as an exemption from all required local government taxes and levies for products that have been produced in the EPZs.

In addition, Dr. Meru said that other benefits included exemption from VAT on utility and wharf-age charges as well as non-fiscal incentives such as exemption from pre-shipment or destination inspection requirements and the ability to sell as much as 20 percent of the goods produced in the domestic markets.