Progress has been made in the establishment and development of a new Tanzania Trade and Development Authority (TTDA or TANTRADE) that will be responsible for the regulation, promotion development of trade and trading activities in the area, in general, as well as the overall development of local and foreign markets.
According to a recent announcement at the Mwalimu Nyerere grounds by Mary Nagu (MP), the minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, the TTDA is set to replace the existing Board of External Trade (BET) and will be established via an amendment to the 1978 act that originally established the BET.
Ms Joyce Mapunjo, the Permanent Secretary for the country’s Ministry of Trade, delivered the speech in Dar es Salaam on behalf of Ms. Nagu.
In the speech, Ms. Mapunjo and Ms. Nagu emphasized the importance of the TTDA especially in the growing era of globalization
“There is need to have in place an authority that would monitor local and external trading activities,” said Ms. Mapunjo on behalf of Ms Nagu.
The process of replacing the BET with the TTDA was begun last year in parliament and is expected to be discussed in a public hearing later this month by stakeholders and the parliamentary committee of industries and trade.
In addition, Ms. Nagu’s speech also indicated that the government is expected to support improvements to the Nyerere exhibition grounds in order to elevate them to international standards.
Ms. Nagu went on to indicate that while part of the purpose of the TTDA will be to provide quality services to manufacturers in the production and marketing of their goods, the primary focus of the authority will be the promotion of local products in order to raise the overall national income.
According to the current General Director of the BET, Ramadhani Khalifan, production within the country has been held up due to inadequate production tools and a growing private sector since the privatization of parastatal organizations combined with a limited budget for the BET.
For these reasons, Mr. Khalifan indicated that the BET is currently facing three large outstanding debts for land rent, the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) program, and Value Added Tax (VAT).
The newly appointed BET Chairman of the Board, Salimu Shamte, has said that he will work closely with the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Marketing during his term in order to solve the problems that this organization is currently facing.