Tanzania: How Tanzania Can Boost Exports

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania's export value of goods and services reached $8.8 billion last year. But, a new report shows that the country's potential remains huge if several issues are worked on.

The report by the Industry and Trade ministry,produced in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), has highlighted seven recommendations designed to boost export of locally-produced products.

The value of value of non-traditional exports increased by a cool $1.125 billion last year to reach $5.3 billion compared to $4.2 billion in 2019, Bank of Tanzania (BoT) figures show.

The growth, the BoT says in one of its recent monthly economic reviews, was mainly due to good performance in horticultural products, manufactured goods and all minerals save for diamonds.

The country earned $2.96 billion from gold exports last year, up from $2.2 billion in 2019.

Manufactured exports earned the country $912.2 million last year, up from $ 805.2 million in 2019.

However, the Industry and Trade ninistry and the International Trade Centre (ITC) report recommends that adding value to the products, strengthening innovation, research and development, diversification of products and increasing communication between government institution and private sector will boost the export further.

Other recommendations include: participating in different trade forums meant for exposure, increasing awareness on the regulatory functions especially to the importers and exporters, and increasing the number of skilled human resource on public agencies.

The report - titled 'Public sector perspectives on Non-Tariff Measures' (NTMs) was presented here last week by the Industry and Trade ministry's Trade Officer, Oliver Amani, during the National Stakeholders Meeting on NTMs.

He said the country's exporters should add value to the products and make sure they follow regulatory and standard measures in order to meet and compete in the international market.

Going by the report, out of the 20 public agencies who were interviewed on their perception on exporters' performance in terms of compliance with foreign requirements and product standards, 71 percent rated a good score, 29 percent satisfactory and zero (0) percent excellent.

According to the ITC report 72 percent of the exporters in Tanzania were facing difficulties in complying with trade regulations and procedures locally and abroad.

Asked on how well they are informed on the difficulties and constraints of exporters and importers, out of 20 public agencies which were interviewed, 90 percent reported are fairly well informed, ten percent very well informed and zero percent not well informed.

The report also recommends that exporters should invest a lot of time on the innovation with a view of making their items unique and demanding in the global market.

"They should also use the available academic institutions to conduct research on their area of interest, hence utilising data available for making proper decisions in their production/investment," said Mr Amani.

Noting that diversification is of paramount importance, he said exporters should focus on the production of products that Tanzania has competitive advantage.

This, he expounded, will help them to be more competitive in the global markets. The report also highlights the need for increasing communication between government institutions and the private sector in order to solve some problems relating to import and export business.

Mr Amani said participating in different trade forums related to existing trade policy would help regulators to understand the effect of certain implemented trade instruments and way forwards.

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