Japanese to invest 22bn/- in EPZ project

A Japanese firm, Nitori Co. Limited plans to invest 15 million US dollars (over 22bn/-) in the manufacture of furniture and ceramic ware under the Exports Processing Zones (EPZ) arrangement.

The new investment that targets to supply to Europe and American markets will some 500 jobs for Tanzanians and boost the country’s annual exports by 35 million US dollars (about 60bn/-), the company’s Senior Managing Director Shoshim Komiya said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

The Managing Director who led a four-person delegation said Tanzania was endowed with forestry and high quality clay soil, the key raw materials for furniture and ceramic utensils, respectively.

“We are serious and need to invest in Tanzania to tap the huge availability of raw materials,” said Komiya, hinting that the company already has supply orders to meet in America and other developed countries. 

He was speaking at a brief meeting at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA).

EPZA Investment Facilitation Officer Lameck Bohela said the potential investor has had difficulties in getting the appropriate building under the EP ZA infrastructure to install the machines for production. 

“The (potential) investor wants 10,000 square metres for phase one project that would involve manufacture of ceramic utensils,” said Mr Bohela, noting that the available buildings measures less than the required space.

The company is now under negotiations with private developers to rent the building for its operations as stand alone EPZ. The option of allocating land to the investor for construction of the factory buildings has also failed because the investor only want a ready-made place to install the machines.

Lack of fully furnished infrastructure for industrial production is one of the major constraints that impede potential investors from coming to Tanzania, with reports saying that about 60 per cent of investors coming to the country are not ready to waste time on construction.

“Many potential investors want already constructed buildings to install their machines because, they argue, they are manufacturers…not real estate developers,” Mr Bohela said, charging that the country is loosing multibillion worth of investments due to lack of factory buildings.

EPZ programme was established following the enactment of the Export Processing Zones Act, 2002, to provide for establishment of export oriented investments within the designated zones.

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 about six years ago.

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.
Source: The Daily News,http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Masato Masato
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