VICE-PRESIDENT Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday graced the opening of the 7th Mapinduzi Trade Fair, calling for creation of a better business environment in Zanzibar.
Ms Samia advised the responsible authorities to have a holistic review of the business enabling environment, in order to improve the business climate in the country, “We want businesses to grow without leaving behind small scale traders and entrepreneurs. Policies, laws and non-tariff barriers shouldn’t obstruct the development of business,” Ms Samia said.
The VP informed members of the business community, private sector and officers from the government to work together in ensuring that key challenges affecting the business environment in the country are removed for smooth development of the sector.
Ms Samia observed that Zanzibar still has many opportunities for business growth particularly in support of ongoing industrialisation and that the policies made when she was the Isles Trade and Industries Minister in 2005 were outdated.
“There are a lot of changes which have taken place in the past two decades necessitating policy and law review,” she said.
The Vice-President’s function was among events lined-up to mark the 57th anniversary of the Zanzibar Revolution, climaxing at the Mnazi Mmoja grounds on January 12th, 2021.
Some of the dignitaries in the Union government are expected to attend the historic event.
The yesterday’s event was also an opportunity for Ms Samia to drum for locally produced goods, asking citizens to buy them in support of the home industries, instead of relying on foreign commodities.
“There is admirable improvement of homemade goods in terms of quality, buy them so that our industries grow,” the Vice-President said.
She said that as both governments improve the investment and business environment for local and foreign investors, local produced commodities should be a priority.
Ms Samia also challenged producers to improve packaging so as to attract consumers to buy their products.
Acting Minister for Trade and Industries Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed said that the government established the trade fair to enable local producers and entrepreneurs advertise and sell their goods.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industries Mr Juma Hassan Reli said that the annual trade fair provides opportunity for business growth, creating jobs for hundreds of young people graduating from higher learning institutions.
He said that the trade fair has been growing in terms of the number of companies participating.
The fair started in 2014 with 109 companies participating but the number shot up to 360 this year with many improvements in exhibition and attendance of the local people.