Launching the US-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue: Key to unlocking mutually beneficial trade, prosperity

LAST Thursday, the United States and Tanzania entered into a transformative new chapter in our relationship, when US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Tanzanian Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji signed the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue.

This historic agreement builds off the successful visit of Vice President Kamala Harris to Tanzania earlier this year, and sets the foundation for increasing economic growth, investment, trade, and prosperity between our two countries.

The signing of this agreement comes at an exciting time in our bilateral relationship and reinforces our commitment to working together in strengthening our economic ties as partners based on mutual respect and shared values.

The United States and Tanzania are entering into a new era, one in which we deliver on our development cooperation priorities while increasing our focus on strengthening investment and trade ties between our two countries.

The US government and US investors come to Tanzania, ready to partner in ways that unleash Tanzania’s enormous economic potential, epitomized by the wealth of human capital and abundance of natural resources. We want the Tanzanian economic base to grow, and we believe in its growth potential.

The US-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue is a significant symbol of the United States’ serious and enduring commitment to this goal. Once implemented, this agreement will catalyze increased US-Tanzania commerce and trade in ways that directly benefit the Tanzanian people.

U.S. businesses are already investing in critical sectors of the Tanzanian economy, but the economic relationship is now primed for take-off.

The US-Tanzania trade relationship is solid, but there’s also significant room to grow. Recent milestones such as Ward Holdings shipments of processed cashews to U.S. markets, Boeing aircraft deliveries for Air Tanzania, and progress towards developing a battery grade nickel processing facility for clean energy technology are remarkable achievements.

With the signing of the US-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue, together, we are taking the next step towards fully realizing that potential. According to the agreement, the Commercial Dialogue will be co-chaired by the Minister for Industry and Trade and the US Secretary of Commerce.

Our countries will rotate hosting an annual meeting with participants that include senior U.S. and Tanzanian government officials and executive-level private sector stakeholders.

Between each annual meeting, representatives from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam and the Tanzanian Ministry of Industry and Trade will regularly confer to develop and shape the dialogue, implement decisions, collaborate on next steps, troubleshoot issues companies are facing, and serve as technical experts advising both our governments.

Early discussions will focus on growing Tanzania’s digital economy, increasing US and Tanzanian market access, improving regulatory and business climate reforms, organizing trade missions to the United States and Tanzania, and developing trade fairs in both our countries.

Together, we will increase our mutual understanding, forge new commercial ties between our countries, and learn and share best practices for successfully operating in the American and Tanzanian markets.

Over time, the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue will become the foundation for building a strong and lasting bilateral trade relationship that benefits both businesses and the average US and Tanzanian citizen.

Whether by bringing high-quality Tanzanian products to U.S. markets or by expanding U.S. economic engagement in Tanzania and creating good paying jobs to expand and develop Tanzania’s middle class, this agreement is the first step.

Sustained engagement between our governments and private sectors will be critical to improving the business environment, removing barriers to trade, integrating our economies, resolving supply chain issues, and fully realizing our shared prosperity goals.

The U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue will provide a platform for us to do all this, and jointly explore, and strengthen regulatory policies that attract US businesses to Tanzania, and Tanzanian businesses to the United States.

Tanzanian producers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and small and medium sized enterprises stand the most to gain.

This agreement will build strong, lasting, and mutually beneficial ties between our two countries. The U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue is a critical step towards unleashing the enormous economic potential that exists in the US-Tanzania bilateral relationship.

The government alone cannot expand opportunity to its citizens to the same magnitude that including the private sector will.

Tanzania is an economic force and a leader in East Africa and on the continent. The United States is your committed partner in reaching our shared economic development aspirations, and together, we will make limitless progress.

I look forward to attending the first US-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue meeting and welcoming new U.S. commercial partners into this dynamic market. The writer is US Ambassador to Tanzania.

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