PUBLISHED ON February 25th, 2015

Tanzania’s export to the EAC on the rise

TANZANIA’S share of trade in the East African Community is expected to be further buoyed by rising exports from its growing manufacturing sector.

Exports to East African Community partner states hit record high in 2013 with total trade turnover glossing over 1.5 billion US dollars, according to the East African Community Facts and Figures for 2014.

The East African Community second largest economy had a positive balance of trade in the EAC region with a surplus of 723 million US dollars in 2013 up from a deficit amounting to 158.8 million US dollars in 2012.

Compared with 2012, Tanzania’s intra-EAC trade grew by 26 per cent in 2013, with exports rising by an impressive 115 per cent, although imports declined by 41 per cent, the figures showed. Kenya remained Tanzania’s main EAC trade partner, with trade flows totalling 1.2 billion US dollars.

Information from the Ministry of East African Cooperation shows the main exports to the East African Community region include machines, fertilizers, cement, electrical equipments, ships and boats equipments, cereals, oil products and their distillations, paper and textiles.

However, Tanzania’s exports to the EAC constitute a minor share out of the country’s total exports in 2013 which reached about 8.5 billion US dollars, according to Bank of Tanzania reports.

Tanzania main exports partners are India, Japan, China, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands and Germany. Tanzania major exports are agricultural commodities with tobacco, coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, tea and cloves being the most important.

Other exports include gold and manufactured goods. And in a separate report by the Bank of Tanzania, exports from the manufacturing sector, which make a bulk of the country’s exports to the EAC region, have been ever increasing.

The latest Monetary Policy Report (MPS) showed exports by manufacturers increased by almost 14 per cent between July and November overtaking gold which fell by 26.4 per cent. Industrial exports raked in 615.6 million US dollars while gold earned the country 504 million US dollars.

The manufacturing sector is on steady growth in Tanzania with figures showing the growth increased from 5.5 per cent in 1998 to 7.7 per cent in 2013 due to increase in industrial production particularly beverage, cement, iron and agricultural processing.

Its contribution to the economy increased in average of 9.02 per cent from 8.37 per cent in 1998 up to 9.92 per cent in 2013, according to the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda.

About 99.6 per cent of industries in Tanzania are in infant stage which needs capacity building to enable them compete in the domestic and global market, the minister said in Parliament last year.

He said 88 per cent of industries in Tanzania were micro industries, 10.5 per cent are small scale industries. 0.2 per cent are medium scale industries and 0.4 per cent are large scale.

Source: Daily News

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