Trade relations between Brazil and Tanzania are now way below its potential and highly concentrated on Brazilian exports to Tanzania, on average more than 99% of the trade flow.
After being consistently on the rise from 2000 to 2012, the year in which bilateral trade reached its peak at USD67.1m, commerce between Brazil and Tanzania fell dramatically the following year to USD24.2m.
From January to July 2014, total trade reached only USD11.7m, suggesting that bilateral trade will roll back to its 2008 levels.
Francisco Carlos Soares Luz, former Ambassador of Brazil to Tanzania, Comoros and Seychelles, explained in an interview with TanzaniaInvest: “Reasons for that are plenty: the absence of air and shipping links between our countries; Brazilian manufactured products facing tough competition from Asian countries; application of non-tariff barriers by the Tanzanian Government on products with which we are very competitive, such as poultry and beef; and a lack of aggressiveness from Tanzanian exporters in looking for business opportunities in the Brazilian market, which has just reached 202 million consumers.”
He further noted that Cooperation is mostly provided in health and agriculture, with an emphasis on cotton development.
In August 2016, Brazil’s Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community (EAC), Carlos Alfonso Iglesias Puente said that Brazil is willing to promote stronger relations with Tanzania and the rest of the EAC member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.
He said that Brazil attaches great importance to regional integration initiatives across the globe, adding that his country was keen on strengthening its relations with the EAC in trade, investment and diplomacy.
He added that the Brazilian business community already has a significant presence in Tanzania and Kenya, especially in construction, energy and solid waste management sectors.