Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, conducted a trade mission to Tanzania recently as part of its efforts to assist exporters to tap the fast-growing African markets. The mission, which included 14 firms from 30 industry sectors, was especially aimed at enabling UAE companies to learn about the business environment and export opportunities in Tanzania.
During the mission, Dubai Exports also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Trade Agency for co-operation on promoting bilateral trade in the presence of Their Excellencies Dr Mary Nagu, Minister of State in the Tanzanian Prime Minister’s Office, and Malallah Al Amri, UAE Ambassador to Tanzania.
As a vast continent where a young and emerging middle class continues to create diverse export opportunities, Africa is a key focal point for Dubai Exports. Considering the distinctive features and demands of African countries, Dubai Exports adopts customised strategies to enable local firms penetrate this lucrative market.
“We believe that Africa has considerable potential for goods from Dubai and the long and historical relationship between the two partners gives our exporters a competitive edge,” stated Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports.
“It is also worth noting that six African countries are members of the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA) while a further four are associate members. GAFTA offers reduced customs duties on products, and allows countries to share their standards and specifications to facilitate goods movement and communication between member states,” added Al Awadi.
Trade between Tanzania and Dubai grew 47 per cent in 2011 compared to the previous year, from four billion dirhams to 5.8 billion dirhams. As per available data, Tanzania’s GDP grew seven per cent in 2011, one of the most impressive growth rates for non-oil-producing sub-Saharan African countries. Economic prospects for the medium term continue to look bright and inflationary pressures are low.
Al Awadi said that Tanzania can also link UAE firms to the wider East Africa region, which includes Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and also Mozambique.
“The success of Dubai-based companies in Africa depends on bringing together buyers and sellers from a number of targeted sectors, which is what we have managed to accomplish in this trade mission. In emerging markets such as Africa firms find it difficult to transact with each other efficiently and this is where Dubai Exports can plays a vital role,” said Al Awadi.
As part of the mission, Dubai Exports organised business-to-business meetings for the participating companies with potential customers, agents, distributors as well as partners. The mission also held discussions with high-ranking government officials in Tanzania including Their Excellencies Terezya Hoviza, Minister of State for Environment in the Vice President’s Office, and Dr Abdallah Kigoda, Minister of Industries & Trade.
The meetings provided an excellent platform for the participating companies to open direct communication channels with industry leaders, officials and decision-makers in Tanzania, evaluate the services available there and explore future co-operation.
The participating companies also had fruitful exchanges with industry associations and governmental organisations including the Tanzania Investment Centre, Export Processing Zone Authority and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture.