PM points path for TZ to exploit AfCFTA opportunities

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has issued several directives to improve the business environment and encourage traders to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to expand their businesses.

He said the government continues to address various challenges aimed at improving the environment of doing business in the country, by reviewing several laws, policies and regulations.

Mr Majaliwa issued the directives in Dar es Salaam yesterday while opening the 47th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) at the Mwalimu JK Nyerere grounds.

“We want to strengthen regional and international trade where the AfCFTA market has opened and estimated to have more than 1.3 billion consumers from 53 African countries,” he said.

He added, “For those who have products that meet the standards and criteria are encouraged to start registering through the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade in order to benefit from this market. It is important to make a sincere effort to reach these markets”.

Mr Majaliwa said the important areas to be worked on should be identified, including focusing on quality in the agricultural and industrial sectors, efficient processing, packaging and advertising so that those who can reach those markets can do so.

“I call upon businesspeople and companies to utilise the area in this market because it has relief from customs duties that will enable you to travel to any of the 53 countries,” said Mr Majaliwa.

The Premier directed that in order to provide timely information on crop production and markets, the departments of industry, trade and investment at the regional and council levels should collaborate closely with the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade).

Businesspeople, he continued should conduct themselves with confidence, professionalism and patriotism in accordance with the established rules, regulations and procedures as well as Tanzanian culture.

Elaborating, he suggested that they use TV and other networks to publicise their businesses.

For business people with ideas to enhance and serve the country, he urged them not to be afraid to present them, adding that the doors are open for them by contacting the appropriate authorities.

Mr Majaliwa further directed that every trader who sells a product must issue a receipt and that when a consumer buys a product, he/she should also ask for a receipt to ensure that the government collects revenue that would be utilised to build infrastructure and allow investment to keep on expanding.

To lower the incidence of environmental pollution, he said, “All science and technology institutions ought to invest in producing more experts in the field of natural gas.”

The Ministry of Agriculture on both Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania was also instructed by the Prime Minister to set up a collaborative plan with the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade in order to ensure that agricultural production is carried out in accordance with the needs of both domestic and international markets.

Additionally, he urged TanTrade specialists to fully engage these ministries in carrying out the responsibilities of overseeing and packing products as well as searching for opportunities in international markets.

In the modern world, the issue of using technology is extremely helpful in growing business abroad, he remarked.

“Business persons and Tanzanians in general have to learn and embrace the use technology with the aim of reducing production costs in order to have products with competitive prices in the market.”

He also demanded that all the council’s to set up a system to organise petty traders in business-friendly areas with significant infrastructure as one method to help them and their businesses develop.

Earlier, TanTrade Director General Latifa Mohamed Khamisi said the authority has various responsibilities including conducting market research for locally produced products, providing business information, building the capacity of business communities on the best way to manage domestic and foreign business activities and coordinating business development activities.

“DITF is one of the most important resources used to promote our Tanzanian products and enable businesspeople and producers to meet, learn, share experiences and find markets for their products and services in the country and abroad,” she said

According to her, in three years, a total of 9,082 local and foreign participants, 672,294 visitors visited the 44th, 45th and 46th exhibitions respectively.

“Achievements include identifying opportunities to learn competitive strategies, meeting buyers, receiving advice and opinions from customers of various products and services and gaining experience from companies and institutions with extensive business experience,” said Ms Khamisi.

She further said in the 47th DITF, there are 3,359 domestic participants and 266 foreign participants from 16 countries from China, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, UAE, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Algeria and Pakistan.

“These exhibitions have contributed to the country’s economy in the area of employment. In the 46th exhibition temporary jobs were 4,000 up from 1,200 in the 45th exhibition and this year, we expect them to increase due to the various improvements made,” she said.

The exhibition started on June 28th and will close on July 13th this year.

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