On 16th December 2022, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) in collaboration with the Tanzania embassy in China organized the Tanzania-China Business forum in Dar es Salaam.
The event attracted about 500 businessmen from both China and Tanzania who attended virtually, in addition to the few present on-site.
The keynote speakers included H.E. Mbelwa Kairuki, Ambassador of Tanzania in Beijing, Hon. Exaud S. Kigahe, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, and Janson Huang, Honorary Chairman of the Chinese Business Chamber of Tanzania (CBCT), and Chairman of the China Tanzania Investment Promotion Association.
During his speech Hon. Kigahe urged the investors to not only see Tanzania as a place to market their products but rather as a potential place for investment and stressed that the forum is an opportunity for both countries to explore available opportunities in trade, investment, transfer of technology, and services and products exchange.
“If we embark on a massive economic trade and investment cooperation between our two nations, we will undoubtedly witness the beginning of stronger economic and social relations between us,” Hon. Kigahe said.
The event also saw the participation of the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade). Its acting Director Fortunatus Mahembe presented the latest trade statistics between Tanzania and China and highlighted trade opportunities and market potentials.
In 2021, Tanzania exported to China goods worth a total of USD 273 million. The main goods exported were sesame seeds, sisal twine, cordage, ropes and cables, copper ores, precious stones and gold, tobacco, cotton and cotton yam, and lobsters (fresh or chilled).
In the same year, Tanzania imported from China goods worth a total of USD 2,696 million. The main goods imported were road tractors for semi-trailers, tires for buses or lorries flat-rolled products of iron, parts of machinery for working minerals, and motor vehicles.
Mahembe mentioned the main sector that presents the greatest investment opportunities for Chinese businesses to increase trade between the two countries, namely manufacturing, transport and logistics, renewable energies, and agriculture.
In relation to agriculture, he highlighted the sub-sectors with the greatest potential: horticulture, soya, sunflower and sunflower seed oil, and maize seeds (for sowing).
He also highlighted “quick opportunities” which include the processing of cashew nuts, coffee, tea, sesame seeds, clove, tobacco, cotton, meat and leather, timber and wood,