The Tanzanian government announced Monday that it will establish Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Arusha, aiming at turning Mererani into a huge center for mining and processing raw tanzanite, the Tanzanian newspaper, The Guardian reports. Speaking at a press conference, Ibrahim Msabaha, deputy minister for energy and minerals, said that EPZ for processing tanzanite was necessary for generating more revenue from exports through added value, the newspaper reports.
“Already the government is carrying out the ground work for transforming Mererani into a controlled area,” Msabaha reportedly said.
In addition, Msabaha reportedly said that in a move to implement the government directive on banning importation of unprocessed tanzanite, last month the Ministry of Energy and Minerals sent a delegation to India and Thailand to look at the possibility of creating a joint tanzanite processing and jewelry center in the country.
Msabaha reportedly said the delegation, which had visited the two countries between Oct. 8 and 10, included himself, Salome Mbatia (MP), vice chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Investment, and other delegates from the public and private sectors. The trip resulted in a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Indian government to explore opportunities for the establishment of gemstones jewelry centers in Tanzania.