The Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Philip Mpango (MP) officiated a National Roundtable Dialogue today on “The Role of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Implementing the Industrialisation Agenda”.
The dialogue, which was organised by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the Office of the Treasury Registrar in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, brought together over fifty State Owned Enterprise Board Chairpersons and Chief Executives to deliberate on the role of SOEs in contributing towards the country’s goal of becoming a middle-income, semi-industrialised country by 2025.
In his address, Hon. Dr. Mpango noted that the Dialogue’s theme fits in well with the main agenda of the Fifth Phase Government.
“The Government’s goal is to ensure that Tanzania becomes a middle-income country by 2025, through industrial development,” he said, “we have set targets for the contribution of the industrial sector to the economy to increase by 10% per year and for manufacturing exports to increase by 30% by 2020.”
Hon. Dr. Mpango further emphasised on the importance of events such as these in providing a platform for discussion in order to further progress towards sustainable development.
“This symposium is important both for you and for the Government, for it gives you an opportunity to share ideas and experiences on how public corporations can participate in industrial development, and economic development in general,” he stated, addressing the heads of SOEs.
Hon. Dr. Mpango further urged Heads of SOEs to invest in research and technology, and seize opportunities for effective industrial development. He further urged them to invest time in learning from others, both locally and internationally, that have achieved success.
According to Mr. Kadari Singo, speaking on behalf of the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, the Dialogue ultimately intended to examine the role of SOEs and their contribution in the implementation of the industrialisation agenda.
“Industrialisation is a complex process that needs, among others, broader and effective participation of all stakeholders. SOEs are a critical stakeholder in this process,” he said, “It is our hope that contributions and recommendations from this Dialogue will inform policies, plans and strategies to accelerate industrial development in the country.”
To kick-start the discussions, a keynote presentation on lessons to be learned from East Asia was delivered by Dr. John Page, Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Subsequent presentations and discussions focused on lessons from other countries, how SOEs can take advantage of the opportunities emerging during the process of industrialisation, and how SOEs can meet the challenges arising from the process of industrialisation.