The OECD Investment Policy Review Report for Tanzania released recently has listed major reforms and success stories including steady economic growth since 2000.
The Report by Organization for Economic Cooperation
Development (OECD), however, does not paint a rosy picture regarding the
performance of Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
The EPZA Director General, Dr Adelhelm Meru, in his reaction
says there are sections that were misleading due to use of wrong data and
For example, he points out, that page 134 of the report
shows that the EPZ programme was created in 1996 under the NDC and EPZA was
established in 2002.
“The truth is that the EPZ was established in 2002 under the
NDC and EPZA was established in 2006”, explained Dr Meru, adding: “the OEDC
researcher might have mixed the years.
Dr Meru lists several other mistakes in the report. On the
issue of incentives provided by EPZA, Dr Meru stressed that, for a country
where the infrastructure is not very good and provision of basic utilities
(power, gas, water) is erratic, incentives are needed to make a substitute.
He was confident that incentives in this part of the world
have proved to be among the important factors that attract investors.
He added that it was improper to say that issuance of
incentives to EPZ companies is a loss of Government revenue because such incentives
are given to new investments where there was no revenue in the first place.
On accounting for the successes of the EPZ and SEZ schemes
worldwide, Dr Meru explained that, the EPZ concept started in Shannon, Ireland
in 1957 and according to ILO; is now being practiced in over 120 countries.
He said, if the concept was not useful, it would have been
scrapped off in many countries; to the contrary, the concept is spreading very
fast, expanding from EPZs to Special Economic Zones, Free Zones, Industrial
Zones and the like.
He said Countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam,
Korea, and Philippines etc have developed export-led economies through EPZ and