- Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 02:35
- Written by EDITOR
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TANZANIA will take part in a five-day Africa Week exhibition in Mexico City which starts on October 15.
This is the first time ever for Tanzanian entrepreneurs to take part in such a high profile event in Central America. According to the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Executive Director, Mr Daniel Machemba, the exhibition will offer local entrepreneurs a rare opportunity to showcase their products and services.
Traditionally, Tanzania has been eyeing the Asia, North America and European markets for many years. So, any new opportunity for new markets is good news indeed. Currently, the country's top five trading partners are India, China, South Africa, Kenya and Switzerland.
However, the number could have been much bigger if there were concerted efforts to market the country abroad. The onus is now on the local entrepreneurs to grab the opportunities which knock occasionally. But the biggest problem facing Tanzanian entrepreneurs is lack of innovative ideas to look for new markets. As a result, only a handful businesses have dared to cross the borders.
For example: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) untapped market is still yawning for new investments. But no one around seems to see this value. The country's geographical strategic position should be used as a gateway for the landlocked countries to export and import their products.
The Dar es Salaam port has not been fully utilized and this task should not be left to the government alone. The private sector must take its lead role in coming up with new ideas. So, TCCIA and other stakeholders need to change mindset against the African markets which offer a quick solution to many socio-economic problems on the continent.
The current Euro zone crisis which has badly hit Greece, Italy and Spain offers no future sustainable market for products from Africa. For example, Tanzania is grappling with low prices of cotton with no end in sight for a lasting solution. World market prices on the crop have plummeted and this has adversely affected the local farmers.
Therefore, there should be deliberate efforts to find new markets within the continent and especially the neighbouring landlocked countries.