Swiss chocolate making company Neuchatel Chocolates is poised to open a base at Tanzania’s Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in September where it will make chocolates for export to Swiss markets.
The EPZ Investors Facilitation Officer, Mr Lameck Borega confirmed the development stating that the factory will either be in the Benjamin Mkapa EPZ or in other zones. According to Borega the Company has already made local chocolate samples, which were exhibited at the 36th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF). “It will be the first company based in East Africa to make chocolates,” he said.
Mr Borega revealed that Neuchatel was in the process of registering a local company and would start production in September; adding that the Swiss chocolate retailer was satisfied with Tanzania’s investment policies and business environment.
He was enthusiastic about the prospects of having locally made chocolate with the label, ‘quality chocolate from Tanzania.’ “It will be branded, best chocolate from Tanzania and sold to external markets,” he said. He said prices of chocolates will go down in the domestic market since the EPZ firms were allowed to sell 20 per cent of their products locally.
Tanzania will become the first East African country to produce and export chocolates, a move which will bring down prices of chocolates, increase foreign exchange saving and also bring about employment for locals as 100 workers are to be directly employed and new technology to make chocolate would be transferred.
“For EPZ made products, they get price incentives, meaning that for us who expect to buy it locally, it will be at lower prices, ” Borega confirmed.