During the same period exports of goods from Tanzania rose by 85%, from USD5b to USD9.5b. Imports grew by 27%, from USD9.8b to USD12.5b.
Tanzania main exports are tourism, minerals, manufactured goods, crops, fish and fish products, and horticultural products.
Tanzania Tourism Exports
The Tanzanian tourism sector is the country’s number one foreign currency earner.
Visitor exports generated USD2.3b in 2015, compared to USD1.2b in 2010, representing an increase of 93%.
Tanzania Mineral Exports
Minerals accounted for nearly USD1.4b of the total value of Tanzania’s exports in 2015, compared to USD1.6b in 2010 and USD1.3b in 2009.
Gold exports accounted for USD1.3b of the total value of Tanzania’s exports in 2015, representing more than 90% of the country’s minerals export.
Tanzania’s gold exports remained steady over the past 5 years with USD1.3b in 2010.
Tanzania exports gold mainly to South Africa, India and Switzerland. Other mineral exports of Tanzania include diamonds, tanzanite, rubies, sapphires, emerald, copper, silver and other precious stones.
Tanzania Manufactured Good Exports
Manufactured good exports accounted for USD1.3b of the total value of Tanzania’s exports in 2015, compared to USD994m in 2010, representing an increase of 33%.
Tanzania’s manufactured good exports include cotton yarn, manufactured coffee and tobacco, sisal products (yarn and twine), plastic items, textile apparels, cement, and wheat flour.
Tanzania Crop Exports
Crop exports accounted for USD812m of the total value of Tanzania’s exports in 2015, compared to USD610m in 2010, representing an increase of 33%.
Raw tobacco represents Tanzania’s most important exported cash crop growing from USD 169m worth of exports in 2010 to USD 318m in 2015, followed by cashews which grew from USD 50m to USD 201m, and coffee from USD 109m to USD 162m in the same period.
The top export destinations of the Tanzanian tobacco are Germany, Russia, and Poland, while almost 80% of cashews are exported to India.
Tanzania’s imports are represented mostly by transport equipment, machinery, petroleum, fertilizers, industrial raw materials, food and other consumer goods.
Petroleum imports constituted 25% of the total value of Tanzania’s imports in 2015 with USD2.8b, compared to USD2b in 2010, representing an increase of 42%.
However, Tanzania’s petroleum imports decreased by 21% when compared to its value of USD3.5b in 2014.
Tanzania imports petroleum mainly from India, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland.
Tanzania Trading Partners
Tanzania’s major trading partners include: China, Germany, Japan, India, the European Union, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Kenya, Japan, India and South Africa.
Major commercial/trading cities in Tanzania include Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mbeya, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Kigoma.
Tanzania Export and Special Economic Zones
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical area that has more liberal economic laws than the country’s typical laws.
It is an economic development tool to promote rapid economic growth by using fiscal and business incentives to attract investments and technology.
In 2002 Tanzania established its Export Processing Zones (EPZ) scheme, to provide for the establishment of export oriented investments within the designated zones with the views of creating international competitiveness for export led economic growth.
Tanzania’s EPZs promote exports of products that use local materials, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, agro-processing, and the lapidary industry.
In addition in 2006 the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) scheme was introduced, to promote quick and significant progress in economic growth, export earnings and employment creation.
SEZ also aims at attracting private investment in the form of both Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) from all productive and service sectors.
On 20th January 2020, the UK hosted the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, sponsored by Standard Bank, Africa’s largest banking group by assets.
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By Anthony Kimambo, Stanbic Bank Tanzania Head of Trade Finance.
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Tanzania just launched its electronic visa and residence permit services for foreign nationals wishing to visit or live in Tanzania.