TANZANIA and South Africa’s bilateral trade has developed rapidly with the former’s exports to the latter reaching 971 million US dollars (equivalent to 2.25tri/-), according to the latest data.
The country’s economic diplomacy with backups from the offices of the High Commissioner in South Africa in collaboration with authorities saw Tanzania’s exports soaring from 700 million US dollars (1.6tri/) in 2017 to 2.25tri/- in 2021.
Tanzania’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Maj Gen (Rtd) Gaudence Milanzi told the ‘Sunday News recently that the High Commission is extensively searching for new market opportunities for Tanzanian products, being a strategy of addressing trade imbalances between the two Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries.
According to the envoy, Tanzania’s major exports to South Africa are coffee, tea, gold, tobacco, cotton, cocoa, cashew nuts and beans.
On the other side, Tanzania imports various commodities from SA which include machines, spare parts, paper, iron products, vehicles, fruits and wine.
Apart from marketing locally produced products in SA, the diplomatic office and South Africa’s authorities are coordinating a joint business forum which will bring together business communities and other stakeholders from the two countries.
“The forum will be used as a platform to discuss challenges and business opportunities available in Tanzania and South Africa as well as looking for solutions,” he said.
Other activities geared to promote trade and investments between the two, according to the envoy, are coordination of South African investors’ trips to Tanzania.
The diplomat disclosed that recently the Tanzania’s High Commission in South Africa took part in the opening of a metal industry owned by Tanzania national in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa is one of the top 10 major investors in Tanzania with approximately 10 per cent of total investment in the country.
Quoting Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) report, about 223 South African companies have invested in Tanzania with a capital amounting to 806.05 million US Dollars (equivalent to 1.9tri/-) between 1997 to August 2022.
The investments of SA’s companies in Tanzania have generated over 21,000 employment opportunities for locals.
“Due to the economic, infrastructural and economic transformation initiatives being implemented by the sixth phase government, and the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions, the number is expected to increase as more South African investors have shown interest and are exploring investment opportunities in Tanzania,” said Commissioner Milanzi.
The major SA investors in Tanzania are SAB-Miller, Stellenbosch Distillers, SIMBA Cement (Plc), Vodacom, FNB, Stanbic, ABSA, Illovo, Multichoice and AngloGold Ashanti.
Others are Metropolitan, Protea Hotel, Southern Sun and City Lodge, just to name a few.