Covid-19 affects Tanzania, Pakistan trade

Covid-19 affects Tanzania, Pakistan trade

TANZANIA and Pakistan import and export trades have considerably gone down last year impacted negatively by Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic hit most Tanzanian exports to Pakistan that dropped by 30 per cent to 67.77 million US dollars in 2020/21 from 97.03 million US dollars in2019/20

The drop in business, which was still in favour of Karachi, has disturbed the Pakistan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Muhammad Saleem, who has come up with various strategies to promote the lost trade.

“The High Commission is inviting business people to attend the Expo Centre Lahore. This is one way of promoting trade in either side,” Mr Saleem told ‘Daily News’ during an interview.

The envoy said for instance, early next month there will be a three-day Wexnet Exhibition 2022 on the 10th of February at Lahore, which is special for women, where the main exhibition will be held towards the end of the month.

The High Commissioner further said that the absence of Tanzania’s High Commission in Pakistan denied traders available opportunities in the Asian countries.

“Most of the goods from Tanzania are coming from Mombasa, Kenya. This is because Kenya has a high commission in Pakistan…and are seizing the opportunity at first hand,” Mr Saleem said.

To that end, the Pakistani envoy called on the two countries to capture the available opportunities to boost their businesses.

Nevertheless, Mr Saleem said Covid-19 put a negative impact on trade logistic due to lockdowns which also affected air transport for both commercial and cargo airlines.

For instance, Pakistani export to Tanzania decreased by 9.5 per cent to 90.18 million US dollars in 2020/21 from 99.65 million US dollars in 2019/20.

The diplomatic relationship between Pakistan and Tanzania started in 1967 when the latter opened a high commission office in Dar es Salaam.

The envoy said that both countries should cooperate to encourage their people to secure opportunities in both nations.

Tanzania and Pakistan are exchanging goods and services mainly in textiles, linens, woven cotton fabric, garments, electrical and electronic parts, industrial goods, machinery, pharmaceuticals and surgical equipment.

Also, Pakistan imports raw cotton, tea, dry fruits, cloves, hides, ground nuts, beans, cardamoms, chickpeas, Arabic gum, wattle extract and ferrous-alloys.

He said that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a substantial opportunity for Pakistan to tap the African markets, where East Africa is a gateway to exploit business opportunities in Africa and it will open opportunities for Pakistan to benefit from.

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