“With efforts being made by this government under His Excellency President John Magufuli, I can confidently say that we now have what it takes to make our dream a reality,” he told The Citizen in an interview.
Mr Mwijage said deliberate measures had been taken to create a conducive environment for investment. They include reducing bureaucracy and cracking down on corruption, adding that results were “very encouraging”.
The minister said about 3,800 small factories had been registered since Dr Magufuli was sworn in on November 5, last year.
“Registering such a number of industries within a year is no mean feat… this is indeed a huge achievement which shows that industry in Tanzania has a bright future.”
Mr Mwijage said 19 small factories began operating in Coast Region alone in the past year, adding that a fertiliser factory is expected to be opened in the region before the end of the year.
“Two more fertiliser factories are in the final stages of construction in Lindi and Mtwara regions, and should be operational before the end of the year. We expect fertiliser prices to come down significantly once the factories start production.”
Mr Mwijage said the government expected an increase in investment inflows, adding that Tanzania was a preferred investment destination in this part of Africa.
“There are attractive opportunities here, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to attract more foreign direct investment in the coming years… we have political stability, transparency and are currently cracking down hard on corruption.”
Tanzania, according to Mr Mwijage, was exporting more products, including cooking oil, to other East African Community member states, South Africa and India. He did not give figures.
“This is a good beginning for the government, and I hope things will get even better as we strive to boost the competitiveness of goods manufactured in Tanzania.”
Mr Mwijage said he had directed the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to ensure that sub-standard imports were locked out as part of efforts to protect Tanzanian consumers and producers.
“All imported goods must meet standards set by the relevant agencies, including TBS and TFDA (Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority),” he added. Tanzanian manufacturers must also strive to attain and maintain the highest standards to compete domestically and globally,” Mr Mwijage said.