Dodoma — TANZANIA's exports to other East African Community (EAC) member states have continued to grow over the years with preliminary statistics for 2011 indicating that the country exported goods worth US 409 million dollars (approximately 654.4bn/-).
The National Assembly was told here that leading exports include fertilizer, cement, rice and steel products in addition tofish, wheat, sugar and textiles. Exports to the regional market increased by 62.3 per cent toUS 462.7 million dollars during the year 2010 from US 285.0 million dollars in2009.
East African Cooperation Minister Samuel Sitta said while moving budget estimates for 2012/2013, that Kenya continues tobe the dominant market for Tanzania's goods in the EAC, accounting for 60.17per cent of total exports.
Mr Sitta mentioned the main exports to Kenya as including mosquito nets, plastic products, tea, electric transformers and paper products. On the other hand, he said, the value of Tanzania's imports from the region declined by 7.1 per cent in 2010, from US 316.9 million dollarsin 2009 to US 295.9 million dollars in 2010.
"Preliminary statistics for 2011 indicate an increase in imports, reaching US 378.1 million dollars. The increase reflects increased importation from all EAC countries, whereby imports from Uganda more than doubled," the Minister explained.
He said Tanzania's imports from Uganda were mostly electrical goods, shoes and detergents whereas other goods imported within the community include pharmaceuticals, steel and steel products as well as oils,lubricants,trucks and trailers.
Generally, the value of goods traded among the five EAC member states continued to grow in 2011 amounting to 4.5 billion US dollars, which is 18 per cent above the value of US 3.8 billion dollars recorded in2010, according to preliminary statistics for 2011.
According to the minister, Kenya still leads in terms of market share in the EAC, followed by Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. In the budget estimates, Mr Sitta asked the august House to approve a budget of16.6bn/-.
Presenting views of the Opposition on the budget estimates,Ms Raya Ibrahim Khamis (Special Seats-CHADEMA) urged thegovernment to addresswhat she described as harassment of local traders exporting goods to Kenya.