Tanzania: Producers Urged to Increase Production to Curb Trade Deficit

THE Office of Chief Government Statistician- Zanzibar (OCGSZ) has released the monthly balance of trade statistics showing that the international trade deficit increased in January this year compared with the corresponding month last year.

"Balance of Trade (BOT) showed a deficit of 118.5bn/- in January this year, increased by 76.5 percent compared to the corresponding month of 2022 and by 30.3 percent compared with the previous month. Trade ratio decreased from 9.5 percent in December 2022 to 6.9 percent in January this year," said Mr Bakari Khamis Kondo from OCGSZ.

The BOT is the difference between the value of a country's imports and exports for a given period and is the largest component of a country's balance of payments (BOP), urging people to increase production and exports.

He explained to members of the press that in January this year, Zanzibar recorded a total exports value of 8.7bn/-, decreased by 65.0 percent compared to January 2022 and by 8.6 percent compared with December last year.

Flanked by Dr Ulrick Mumburi- Principal Economist, Bank of Tanzania (BoT)- Zanzibar; Mr Jamali Mzee- Economist from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA); Mr Haji Weka- program officer from the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC); and Ms Asia Hassan Mussa- statistician from Trade statistics section in OCGSZ, he said food and live animals contributed 81.8 percent (7.1bn/-) of the total exports in January 2023.

"Total exports of goods by Standard International Trade Certification (SITC), food and live animals was down with 7,1bm/- last month compared to December last year 7.4bn/- and the 24.7bn/- for the corresponding month- January 2022," Kondo explained.

He said that India led the top five trading partners for exported goods in January this year, accounting for 64.3 percent of the total value of exported goods. Beverages and tobacco export followed, but it also dropped from 84.7bn/- in December last year to only 3.1bn/-

The five leading exports include cloves to India, seaweed & sea cucumber to Vietnam; cloves to Singapore; Kitenge clothes to Kenya; and Tuna Fish to Thailand, and that Zanzibar still relies heavily on importation with 127.3bn/- worth of goods (machinery, vehicles, lubricants, rice, wheat flour) mainly from the United Araba Emirates (UAE), Russia, China, Pakistan and India.

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