Zanzibar-India eyes barter transactions

IN efforts to minimise the impact of shortage of US dollars in the world market, Zanzibar has opted to discuss with India on the possibility of using barter transactions in doing business.

This was revealed by President Hussein Mwinyi while on board an Indian Naval ship Trishul when it docked at Zanzibar’s main port of Malindi, Stone Town. Dr Mwinyi said that discussions were underway with Indian authorities.

Barter is an act of trading goods or services between two or more parties without the use of money —or a monetary medium, such as a credit card. In essence, bartering involves the provision of one good or service by one party in return for another good or service from another party.

“Members of the Zanzibar business community have requested the government to discuss ways to reduce reliance on US dollars in trade because of scarcity. We are now discussing how we can exchange goods to minimise the negative impact of the foreign currency scarcity,” Dr Mwinyi said.

Importers in Zanzibar have since last December been raising their voices about the shortage of US dollars in the country.

The reception on board, in the Indian Naval ship Trishul, held last Wednesday evening was also attended by the Minister of External Affairs of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is on a four-day visit in Tanzania.

During the meeting with President Mwinyi, the India’s External Affairs minister said that India-Tanzania relationship has been growing stronger along with strengthening relations with the African continent.

“India is seeking African Union’s full membership in G20. We are waiting for a response from leaders of the G20 nations on a proposal to have the African Union (AU) given full and permanent membership of the diplomatic group,” he said.

Currently India holds the Presidency of the G20 (from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023), and the theme of India’s G20 Presidency is – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth. One Family. One Future”

The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States) and the European Union.

The G20 members represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

The External Affairs minister yesterday visited Zanzibar’s water supply project funded by the government of India, at the Kwararara area in Unguja, where he  inspected the development of the more than 92.21million US dollars project, which upon completion, will significantly help to address water woes in many parts of Zanzibar.

He is expected to be in Dar es Salaam from today, where he will co-chair the 10th India-Tanzania Joint Commission Meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Stergomena Tax.

The visiting India minister will also hold a business meeting and call on the country’s top leadership, including several cabinet ministers.

According to the India High Commissioner to Tanzania Binaya Srikanta Pradhan, at least 40 members of the business community and investors from India are expected to join the conference.

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