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Tanzania: Why participating in international trade fairs extremely importantTuesday, September 02, 2014 > 11:17:57
The importance of Tanzanian traders of taking part in international trade fairs and exhibitions as a way of networking, learning and expanding their market shares locally and globally cannot be overstressed. The Minister of Trade and Industries, Dr Abdallah Kigoda stressed this during the opening of the Brands of China Showcase in August 21th this year.
The business people in the country have to see international trade fair exhibitions conducted in the country as their golden chance to learn various technologies and issues from big traders from outside the country, he noted
Kigoda said Tanzania produces many products which go without reaching the market because of the failure by businesspersons to establish reliable marketing networks while the chance of doing that is open including in exhibitions but many traders tend to ignore those trade fairs.
He said participation by foreign businesses in trade fairs provides reliable grounds for locals to secure markets for their goods internationally.
“Fellow Tanzanians, especially those who produce locally, have been producing many products which essentially do not reaching the market because of our slowness. This is the third time such exhibitions are taking place here. This means we would begin to see the results of the first exhibitions now. But this has not been the case here,” he said.
Speaking at the fair, some of the participants said more education and awareness creation is needed so that people could do away with the culture of valuing imported rather than locally produced products.
“People still have the problems of valuing imported goods more than locally produced ones despite the fact that the latter have more quality and sells relatively cheap,” said Lucy Kapinga, a clothes entrepreneur.
For his part, Rajab Omary, a business man from Morogoro who visited china exhibition said that he leant a lot from the exhibition as he used all four days networking and learning various technologies china business people use.
“I have benefited a lot from these exhibitions as I have leant a lot of things, networked with and exchanged my contacts with some business people from china, so this was a very good change”
The Brands of China African Showcase (African Showcase) has been proposed since 2012 by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China to enhance the image of China's export commodities in Africa, extensively explore the African market, optimise the layout of foreign trade international market, and maintain stable growth in export.
This year’s exhibitors included the following, machinery and vehicles, household appliances, electronics and communication devices, solar energy, daily consumer goods, hardware and building materials, chemical products, medical products, Electrical equipment, Construction materials, Health care and comprehensive products.It helped the manufacturers and traders to showcase their products and commodities in front of more than 30,000 professional buyers and visitors.
Two days before the exhibitions of this year, various leaders and stakeholders also emphasised and encouraged more Tanzanian traders to visit the Brands of China exhibition so as to create the opportunity for first hand interaction of traders from the two countries.
Leaders from The Economic and Commercial Representation of the People's Republic of China in the United Republic of Tanzania, Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) and Tanzania China Africa Business Council delivered key note speeches and expressed their sincere hope for an expanding China-African trade.
Speaking at a press conference about the exhibition, the Executive Director of TCCIA, Daniel Machemba said that traders must seize the opportunity.
“I urge business communities in the country to use this chance to network at the exhibition and build market links with their Chinese counterparts," he said noting that the business links so formed are the first steps towards securing markets in the Asian country.
He said in recent years, the bilateral economic and trade cooperation with China have developed tremendously due to joint efforts of the two governments and the private sector as well.
“The bilateral trade volume reached USD 3.7bn last year (2013) and increased by 49 per cent, a remarkable business achievement,” he said pledging government’s commitment to strengthen business relations between the two countries.
“There is no way we can avoid challenges but we have to make sure we tackle them especially imbalance of trade as the imbalance will always be there simply because China is big country than ours what to focus now is to make sure that we learn a lot from them,” said Machemba.
Seconding the views, Executive Director of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Godfrey Simbeye, said the foundation has signed an agreement with China to encourage more Chinese investment to the country.
“Through their investments, Tanzanians will gain much needed technology and related knowledge,” he said.
He urged businesses and individuals to attend and network at the exhibition the saying knowledge so gained will serve to improve their r productivity and boost their businesses.
A representative of the economic and commercial representation of the People’s Republic of china in Tanzania, Wang Fang, said Tanzanian’s and China’s development creates opportunities for Tanzania and vise versa.
She said China will continue to enhance its overall economic strength, technological innovation and cooperation with Tanzania and that way, boost the country’s economic development and improve living standards.
In the coming three to five years, Africa might replace the EU to become China's largest trading partner, as it is growing very fast.
Recent visits of the Chinese leaders to Africa have laid a foundation for China-Africa strategic and trade relations, and will promote the China-Africa relations to a higher level.