Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation, ambassador Ramadhani Mwinyi made the challenge yesterday in Dar es Salaam when opening the Tanzania-Oman business meeting which involved a number of traders and official delegations from both Oman and Tanzania.
“Inspite of the long history between Tanzania and Oman, the volume of trade conducted between our two countries are still negligible,” ambassador Mwinyi said.
He said Tanzania imports more than it exports to Oman, while Tanzania exports to Oman amounted to US$5million, which is mainly agricultural goods, such as spices, fruits, meat, and tea and coffee Oman imports stands at US$12million.
“We need to do more to improve the balance of trade and particularly increase the volume of trading,” he said.
Ambassador Mwinyi urged the two countries to make concerted efforts to use the said legal framework to create an enabling environment in which public and private sector entities can invest in each other’s economy.
He asked the two countries to use the strategic competitive advantages they posses to invigorate economic endowments to create the required synergy for sustainable development and mutual economic benefits for both sides.
He said Tanzania is strategically located and a major gateway to South and East Africa which is an added advantage.
Investing in Tanzania ensures access to the SADC region as well as East African Community member countries, with a 200 million market population.
Speaking at the event, the chairman of the Oman-Tanzania joint business council Everist Maembe said Tanzania is very much on the business community's radar because of its outstanding geographic location, excellent connectivity macroeconomic and political stability and first growing economy which had grown by over six per cent.
The chairman said bordering eight countries including Kenya, Uganda, Congo and Mozambique; we believe Tanzania offers Oman companies ample trade and investment opportunities not to mention access to a market of more than 150 million people in the East African Community region.
Maembe added that, in particular international firms are being attracted to Tanzania's mining, food and beverage, telecom, construction and energy sectors.
“I see an economy on the move, one that offers huge potential for Oman private sector,” he added.
He added that the future of Tanzania look extremely bright, over the next several decades, sub-Saharan Africa will continue to attract the highest rates of foreign direct investment inflows
The number of Oman companies participating on the trade mission testament to that and we certainly have the business experience and expertise to help Tanzania realize its economic ambition.
He added: “On this important trade visit we have 23 Oman companies working in a range of sectors ranging from food processing, electrical appliance to marble and stones, all able to bring value added to Tanzania not just in investment, product and services but also in skills, expertise and experience.”
For his part, Saud Al Rawahi, the chairman for Oman-Tanzania joint business council said the council objectives are to foster and facilitate trade and business persons between the two countries which have strong relationship and economic bonds for centuries which now need to be taken into the highest levels.
Al Rawahi called the business communities from both countries to be highly encouraged to utilise the Oman and Tanzania Joint Business Council to achieve their businesses objectives in their respective countries.