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china tanzania

China is Tanzania’s first trading partner and investor. In 2021, Tanzania imported from China roughly TZS 6,207 billion (around USD 2.7 billion) of goods and services, while it exported to China USD 606 million. In the same year, the value of Chinese FDI to Tanzania was USD 101.7 million.

China-Tanzania Trade

Tanzania Exports to China

In 2021, Tanzania exported USD 606 million worth of goods and services to China. The main exports from Tanzania to China were Other Oily Seeds (USD 143M), Raw Copper (USD 61M), and Refined Petroleum (USD 32M). Additionally, Tanzania also exported Iron and Steel (USD 25.7M), Fruits and Nuts (USD 24.6M), and Live Animals (USD 20.9M).

According to the World Bank, Tanzania is expected to export USD 9.982 billion worth of goods and services to China in 2022.

The main exports from Tanzania to China are expected to be Other Oily Seeds, Raw Copper, and Refined Petroleum.

Tanzania Imports from China

In 2021, Tanzania’s imports from China added up to roughly TZS 6,207 billion (around USD 2.7 billion), up 1.1% year-on-year. Tanzania’s main imports from China were Machinery ($764M), Electrical Machinery ($711M), and Iron and Steel ($552M). Tanzania’s total imports from China were up 8.6% compared to 2020.

According to the World Bank, Tanzania is expected to import USD 3.851 billion worth of goods and services from China in 2022.

The main imports from China are expected to be Machinery, Electrical Machinery, Iron and Steel, and Plastics.

China Tanzania Economic Relations

Tanzania is China’s largest aid recipient country in Africa. Since 1964 China has provided various kinds of assistance to Tanzania.

The largest Chinese-supported projects in Tanzania include the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA), the Friendship Textile Mill, the Mubarali Rice Farm, the Kiwira Coal Mine, and the Mahonda Sugar Cane Factory.

Chinese Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to Tanzania

China is Tanzania’s N1 investor in the country. In 2021, the outflow of foreign direct investments from China to Tanzania amounted to USD 101.7 million.

China FDI to Tanzania 2011-2021

China and Tanzania have embarked on 19 multi-billion dollar projects. Among these projects, is the construction of a large port in Bagamoyo costing USD 10 billion. The project is jointly funded by China Merchants Holdings International and Oman Investment Fund. However, the construction of the Bagamoyo port has been halted as of June 2019.

In April 2021, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu met with the leaders of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the country to discuss various issues pertaining to trade and investment.

The Chamber informed that 800 Chinese companies are ready to invest in Tanzania in manufacturing, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, and automotive, and to establish Industrial Parks.

As of October 2022, the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) registered a total of 1,098 Chinese projects worth USD 9.6 billion in mainland Tanzania, while 15 Chinese projects worth USD 202.2 million were registered in Zanzibar, creating a total of 300,000 jobs.

Latest Update: 21st December 2022

Sources: Bank of Tanzania, World Bank, CIA World Factbook, United Nations COMTRADE, Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).