Tanzanian traders should explore business opportunities in the Comoros Islands as the existing bilateral trade is quite below its potential, the country's envoy to Comoro, Ambassador Sylvester Mabumba has said.
Ambassador Mabumba said the current volume of trade which stands at 500bn/- was low and could be improved as Comoro Islands rely on Tanzania for its food demands.
"They import almost everything such as food crops, meat, fruits, and vegetables. So, there is no need for Tanzanian traders to look for market.
The market is here," he said on the sidelines of a meeting between Tanzanian traders living in Comoro and Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Deusdedit Kakoko in Moroni.
The meeting was aimed at addressing challenges thwarting trade between the two countries. Grande Comore (Ngazidja) and Anjouani, the biggest islands in the Comoro, rely on imports from Tanzania to meet her food demands for about 70 per cent.
It imports rice, potatoes, vegetables, cement and other manufacturing products. Imports from Tanzania reached 172.39 million US dollars in 2016, accounting for 42 per cent of all imports, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
Other top import origins of Comoros China (48.3 million US dollars), the United Arab Emirates (46.6 million US dollars), France (40.7 million US dollars) and India (20.3 million US dollars).
Tanzanian traders living in the archipelago have been complaining over lack of reliable waterway transport between Dar es Salaam Port and Moroni, which leads to losses as goods are being damaged due to unreliable transport.
He encouraged Tanza- nian businesspeople to see Comoros as their trade destinations as the archipelago rely much on importation.
"Let's use this opportunity and at this time when Tanzania opened the embassy in Comoro and Tanzania has historical ties with this Island as between 1970 and 1975 our forces assisted for the country to get independence.
"It's high time for Tanzania to benefit from our sweet by exploiting business opportunities here." With a population of 795, 601 people, the Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa's east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel.
The nation state's largest island, Grande Comore (Ngazidja) is ringed by beaches and old lava from active Mt. Karthala volcano.