COUNTERFEIT and substandard industrial products are still posing serious threats to the country's economy and human health despite efforts by the state and non-state organs to contain the vice.
Statistics show that illegally manufactured, substandard and fake products, mostly imports, account for between 35 and 40 per cent of all goods in the local market. Most of the low quality goods, however, are alleged to have been coming from Asian countries, China in particular.
The Chinese Deputy Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Zhang Xialing, speaking at the just ended China African Showcase 2013 in Dar es Salaam, said the issue of substandard products was a concern of Chinese companies as well.
He invited consumers to attend the exhibition and meet genuine manufacturers of Chinese products, "The showcase has brought together manufacturers of genuine Chinese products... it's an opportunity for Tanzanian buyers to learn on how to tell genuine from fake Chinese made goods."
Mr Xialing said most of the represented companies in the exhibitions shared similar concern of unscrupulous people using their brand names to fake products, spoiling their credibility in the market.
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, addressing exhibitors and visitors, described the event as an important platform and an initiative by the Chinese government to fight against counterfeits and fake products to restore consumers' confidence on China made products in Tanzania.
"It is high time that Chinese companies make followup in the markets to ensure that the products they manufacture are the ones procured by consumers, the move that will build up discipline among business people," he said.
Various categories of products including machinery and vehicles, home appliances, electronic communications, solar energy and related products, consumer goods, building material, chemical, medical and comprehensive products were on display.
Premier Pinda called on the need to address the trade imbalances between Tanzania and China to create win-win situation for the people of the two nations.
Currently, he said Tanzania was principally exporting raw materials to China and importing finished goods from the same. "This business environment is not balanced for earnest and mutual development of both countries," he noted.
"The forum is a unique opportunity to address trade imbalances and focus on winwin undertakings that will result in the establishment of productive facilities for value addition factories in Tanzania targeting local and regional markets estimated to have 750 million people," he noted.
The Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda challenged the Tanzania business community to explore opportunities in the exhibitions as a way of adding value to local made goods.
The forum will enable local business community to learn, share experiences and exchange information about Tanzania's numerous business and investment opportunities.
The volume of trade between Tanzania and China has been growing steadily and since 2007, it increased from 688 million US dollars to 2.66 billion US dollars to date, with China being ranked Tanzania's third major trading partner that accounts for over 7.1 per cent of total trade volume.
The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Mr LV Youqing said the exhibition showed how important Tanzania was to China and as of June, this year China Investment in Tanzania valued 2.17 billion US dollars (about 3.47tri/-).
"In the year 2012, China was the second largest investor in Tanzania, a sign of the fast growing bilateral trade between the two nations," he noted.
Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture President Peter Chisawillo expressed optimisms that the interactions will enhance knowledge exchange among business people from both countries.