Tanzania poised to access vast Indonesian market

Jakarta. Tanzania will use every opportunity available to attract investors from Indonesia, an emerging economic giant in Southeast Asia, as well as tap its export market.

But in order to penetrate the huge consumer market there, local exporters will be encouraged to add value to their products to make them more competitive.

This was said here yesterday (Wednesday) by Tanzania’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Macocha Moshe Tembele, at the start of Trade Expo Indonesia 2023, which attracted participants from over 100 countries.

“It is high time our business representatives seized the opportunity to tell the world what our (Tanzanian) market can offer,” he told The Citizen after the trade expo was unveiled in the heart of the capital city of Jakarta.

Ambassador Tembele added: “It is important for our traders to come and collaborate with their Indonesian counterparts on how to apply technology in the value addition of export products.”

He specifically cited agricultural and mineral products from Tanzania to Indonesia and the wider markets of Southeast Asia as among those in dire need of value addition.

According to him, in recent years, Indonesia has shown interest in investing in oil and gas projects in Mnazi Bay in the Mtwara region through its state-owned company in oil and gas, Pertamina.

A few businessmen from Tanzania are attending the five-day expo, one of them being Simon Mukajanga, the director of Dar es Salaam-based Business Performance and Management Company.

A handful of Indonesian exhibitors at the expo said they have lately reached out to potential partners in Tanzania but admitted there was a long way to go due to the long distance between the two countries.

Mr Pit Hoi, the global business sales manager of a pharmaceutical giant called Dexa Medica, said for the time being his firm would supply finished medical products to business partners in Tanzania. “In the long run, we will see if we can invest there (in Tanzania) in the manufacturing of the pharmaceuticals. I can’t say as to when because only recently we visited Tanzania for the first time,” he pointed out. Dexa Medica manufactures over 800 pharmaceutical products, mainly prescription drugs, and has one manufacturing plant in Africa, Nigeria.

Despite declining trade volumes between Tanzania and Indonesia in recent years, the economic cooperation between the two countries received a boost after a recent state visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Tanzania.

The August 2023 visit followed the inauguration of the Tanzanian Embassy in Jakarta in June 2023 by the former Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister, Stergomena Tax.