Author: HILDA MHAGAMA
AfricaPress-Tanzania: TANZANIA and Pakistan plan to establish bilateral business council to strengthen commercial ties and cooperation that will accelerate trade between the two countries and reduce trade imbalance.
According to Pakistan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Muhammad Saleem, trade volume between both countries stands at 154 million US dollars in 2019/2020 and can only grow if economic ties are strengthened.
To reach this goal, it is important to focus not only on trade but also on investment in key sectors such as agriculture, mining and oil and gas, the reason why Pakistan and Tanzania are in talks to support the establishment of the council, Mr Saleem added.
Speaking during the Pakistan- Tanzania business conference in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, he said trade volume between two countries was not satisfactory was in November 2020, they will facilitate a Tanzania business delegation to visit their country and explore untapped opportunities available.
Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), President, Mr Paul Koyi said the council will comprise 15 people whereby during the trip they will also sign Memorandum of Understanding with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to facilitate trade between the two countries.
“We need to increase trade with Pakistan as the current status is not good, we have a clear move to empower our tea growers to add value to their products as there is an opportunity to export tea in their market,” he explained.
Carried under the theme ‘Partnership for Shared Prosperity’ the conference was co-hosted by TCCIA and high commission for Pakistan in Tanzania were businesspeople from both countries met and discussed hindrance of smooth trade.
Pakistan’s export in goods and services in 2019/2020 valued at USD 69.8 million while imports from Tanzania valued USD 85 million.
Pakistan major exports include textiles, linens, tents, woven cotton fabric, furniture, rice, machinery parts and accessories.
Main imports from Tanzania were raw cotton, tea, dry fruits, cloves, hides, groundnuts, beans, chickpeas, Arabic gum and wattle extract.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr Luangisa Francis said there was no balance of trade between the two countries.
Mr Francis said statistics from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) indicate that exports from Tanzania to Pakistan rose from 39bn/- in 2015 to 69bn/- in 2019 and imports from Pakistan rose to 90bn/- in 2019 from 80bn/- in 2015.
TanTrade, Acting Director for Business Development, Mr Boniface Ngowi, said they are charged with the mandate of spearheading trade development in the country and find markets for all products produced in Tanzania.
“Tanzania has not explored the Pakistan export opportunities thus there is no balance of trade, we are also calling on Pakistan businesspeople to come and invest in Tanzania as there is a conducive investment and trade environment,” he said.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) indicate potential exists in enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries.
The key export item around the globe is textiles which can be improvised through effective bilateral talks and measures.