Tanzania has finally launched its trade portal that will stimulate and facilitate exportation, importation and transiting of goods. This should increase trade, create more jobs – and boost the economy.
The launch was in line with implementation of the agreement passed by member states of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in 2014 that sought to establish a trade portal that would facilitate regional and global trade.
Tanzania put the system in trials from 2017 under the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade).
Now, Tanzania becomes the fourth East African state to finally launch the portal after Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Speaking after the launch at the ongoing 45th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), Zanzibar’s Trade and Industrial Development minister Omari Said challenged those tasked with handling the portal to ensure it remains sustainable and must change with developments taking place in technology to meet market requirements.
“I’m informed that during the trial period the portal attracted 112,787 visitors meaning that it will be of much benefit to local and foreign traders, as well as to both governments as we seek to improve our economy,” he said.
Furthermore, the portal will hugely revolutionise the business environment as users would make the right decisions before deciding to start a business or export.
He said after this the next step is to remove factors that hinder business due to the fact that businesses rely heavily on availability of information that is accurate and timely.
For his part, Industry and Trade deputy minister Exud Kigahe directed Tantrade to ensure the portal facilitated traders and put in place a strategy to eliminate minor challenges that were identified during the trials.
Mr Kigahe said the successes achieved so far since the portal began trial included the availability of 36 crops and six of them were from Zanzibar. Also, 325 reports had been reviewed and verified, adding it was a good step that aimed at keeping transparency and accountability in business processes.
Explaining how the portal works, Tantrade’s Project officer Eliabu Rwabyiago said the portal showed how a person could access permits or licence.
He elaborated that if a person wanted to export a certain crop, the portal would show the price and time the product could reach the destination.
“This portal is to facilitate and enable ease of doing business. For example, if a customer wants a permit, we will show the responsible institution and the contact person,” he said.