TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Tanzania: Exports Grow Under AGOA, But Still Below Potential

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Source: The East African (Nairobi)

Tanzania has recorded a modest increase in its volume of exports to the United States under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) over the past year but more needs to be done for the country to benefit fully from the facility.

Tanzania's Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, Nazir Karamagi, said while the US, through its Dar es Salaam embassy, has been assisting local entrepreneurs to understand the US market and develop relationships that are critical for market entry, the government has also been working with the private sector to develop its capacity to produce goods that are in demand in the US market.

"In spite of these initiatives, and the efforts of previous ministers, the performance of Tanzania in terms of growth of exports under the AGOA scheme remains unsatisfactory," said Karamagi.

The minister was speak-ing at the opening of a workshop titled "Tanzania's Perspective on Agoa and Trade Competitiveness" held in Dar es Salaam last week. The workshop was organised by the Nairobi-based East and Central Africa Global Competitiveness Hub (ECA Hub).

Ivy Mwai of the ECA Hub said, "the meeting was aimed at sharing experiences that can help make Tanzania more competitive when it comes to its capacity to export under Agoa and to other regional markets."

The American Ambassador to Tanzania, Michael Retzer, said Tanzania has been eligible for Agoa benefits since 2002. In 2005, total exports to the US rose from $24.2 million to $33.7 million, making Tanzania one of the seven countries to expand Agoa exports in 2005.

"On the micro-level, there have also been important success stories in Tanzania, demonstrating the possibility of breaking into the US market, not only the largest in the world at $11 trillion but also one of the most complicated markets in the world," said the Ambassador.

Mr Retzer cited a few determined, entrepreneurial women in Tanzania who had secured orders for their handicraft products from major US buyers such as the Smithsonian and Target.

The envoy said he also knew of a company in Dar es Salaam that had achieved success, selling patio furniture to the US.

"Despite these successes, the impact of Agoa in Tanzania has been moderate both in dollar terms and in comparison to neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia. Frankly speaking, I am not yet satisfied or convinced that AGOA has been fully exploited or has had the impact it should in Tanzania," said Mr Retzer.

He said while significant opportunities exist for Tanzania to develop its capacity to trade with the US, the county also has prospects to strengthen trading ties with partners such as the EU, India and China as well as with its regional partners in both East and Southern Africa.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Tanzania’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.