THE Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda and Ambassador of China to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, cut a ribbon during the launch of Brands of China African Showcase 2014 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam on Thursday. (Photo by Staff photographer)
THE government has made a passionate appeal to China to increase investments in spite of 2012 statistics that pegs the aggregate at approximately one billion US Dollars.
Speaking at the opening of the 2014 Brands of China African Showcase, the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, said that this level of investment is lower than what has been invested in other countries, whose relationship with China came later compared to that with Tanzania.
"Therefore I take this opportunity to appeal to the Chinese government to increase investment in Tanzania in sectors such as mining and gas," he said.
Dr Kigoda said that the engagement of Tanzania with emerging powers like China, though seen as an opportunity for growth, faces some challenges and missed opportunities. He mentioned these as importations of manufactured goods while exporting raw materials which create an unfavourabe balance of trade.
"It is my opinion that it is high time now for Chinese people to establish manufacturing industries in Tanzania to ensure quality products are produced, employment opportunities to Tanzanians who are engaged in trade and transfer of technology," the Minister urged.
In 2013 bilateral trade between China and Tanzania reached 3.7 billion US Dollars and by the end of 2013 China's investments in Tanzania reached 2.5 billion US Dollars with nearly 500 Chinese companies doing business in the country. Dr Kigoda said that trade between Tanzania and China has increased rapidly over the last decade, particularly China's exports to Tanzania.
China's exports to Tanzania comprise largely of manufactured goods; electrical appliances, garments and vehicles. "The composition of China's exports to Tanzania has remained largely unchanged although trade volumes have increased substantially.
"China is largely importing ores mainly copper and precious metal ores, but also smaller quantities of niobium, tantalum, vanadium, zirconium and manganese, vegetable and animal products from Tanzania," he cited.
The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, said that in 2001, before the introduction of the preferential market access by China, Tanzania exported 0.7 million US Dollars and that the figure remained the same the following year before picking up in 2003 to 4 million US Dollars.
Dr Youqing said that in the first year of the preferential market access, Tanzania's export jumped to 71 million US Dollars or 17 times more than the previous year.
"By 2007, export had reached 156 million US Dollars. Although many exports experienced fall in demand in 2009, this wasn't the case for Tanzania's export to China as it recorded 43 per cent or 117 million US Dollars increase from that of 2008 (270 million US Dollars)," he said.
He said that more than 100 Chinese exhibitors are taking part in Brands of China African showcase and that the event helps Chinese manufacturers and traders to showcase their products and commodities in front of more than 30,000 professional buyers and visitors.
The exhibitors will showcase machinery and vehicles, household appliances, electronics and communication devices, solar energy, daily consumer goods, hardware and building materials, chemical products, medical products, electrical equipment, construction materials, health care and comprehensive products.