THE high level delegation of the Exim Bank Tanzania has travelled to China in an effort to explore partnerships with other financial institutions and intermediaries in the second largest economy in the world.
Prospective alliances were aimed at facilitating easy trade between China and Africa, more particularly to the cause of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in Tanzania, Uganda, Djibouti and Comoros.
Exim Bank Group is a prominent financial player in all the four countries. According to a statement issued yesterday, the meetings were facilitated by High Commissioner to China Mr Mbelwa Kairuki.
The meetings, according to the statement, were instrumental in establishing linkages between Exim Bank and financial institutions in China.
Having arrived in China the delegation had successful meetings with some of the leading Commercial Banks and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
“We were received enthusiastically by our counterparts in China and the relationship that has been initiated will go a long way in enhancing economic relations between the two countries.
We will be working further to cement our ties and ensure that there are tangible benefits for the SME sector in Tanzania,” Ms Katusime Nzarombi, Exim Bank Relationship Manager – China Desk, said.
She said the visit was significant considering the growing economic relationship between China and East Africa, more particularly Tanzania, Uganda and Djibouti which have witnessed a manifold increase in investments and trade business in the last few years.
There are several large state owned and private Chinese companies operating in these African nations. She said SMEs were widely known for their importance in contributing to economic growth and development across regions especially in developing countries.
In China, SMEs contribute up to 60 per cent of China’s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP). The contribution is not the same in Africa albeit, due to deficient tools, technology and suitable finance.
“Easy access to finance remains a key constraint to SME growth without which SMEs languish and stagnate,” she observed.
Africa as a whole and more particularly, Tanzania, holds a huge potential in areas such as leather, textile, agro- processing, agriculture and manufacturing which remains to be harnessed.
The opportunity is immense and joint collaborations can provide the much needed impetus to the on-going efforts of the government and the private sector.