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Tanzania: Dar keen to enhance trade competitivenessMonday, November 16, 2015 > 10:57:30
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr Uledi Mussa, said this in Dar es Salaam, during a workshop that brought together various stakeholders in development of trade.
Mr Mussa said the government was now implementing the Trade Diagnostic Integration Study (DTDS) strategy that was formally approved in 2007. The strategy, he said, was being used to compete in regional and global trade.
The objective of DTIS is to identify key constraints, both internal and external, to the expansion of Tanzania’s trade, with a focus on how trade expansion could help alleviate poverty in the country.
In particular, the DTIS is aimed towards supporting the government of Tanzania in the realisation of its National Trade Policy (NTP), the objective of which is to develop an export orientation for the country to enhance income and reduce poverty.
NTP recognises the importance of trade openness in raising efficiency and productivity in the economy, while at the same time envisioning a role for the government in selective interventions.
“We have selected three sectors to concentrate as a nation to bring economic changes... these are traditional agricultural export crops which are coffee, cotton, cashews and tea as well as non-traditional agricultural exports including vegetables, flowers and fruits.
The last sector is tourism,” he explained. The permanent secretary said he was optimistic that the three areas would bring about significant impact in terms of inclusive growth and poverty reduction.
Mr Mussa said lack of financial resources, adoption of broad sector approach rather than picking specific products during the first DTIS undermined implementation of some interventions. He urged local and foreign investors to pump in more resources into the processing industries as a way of accelerating economic growth and poverty reduction.
He said massive off shore discovery of natural gas in the country was a game changer in the economy. Mr Mussa said Tanzania should look on ways of participating in the sector.
Tanzania estimates it has about 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas reserves off its southern coastline. The discoveries in Tanzanian and Mozambican waters have led to predictions the region could become the world’s third-largest exporter of natural gas.