Trade balance between Tanzania and Italy stood at 150 million Euros (about 352.5bn/-) last year with prospects for a doubling soon, thanks to vast opportunities within this country that remain untapped.
“The trade balance is low compared to available opportunities … we’ve a lot of openings which are yet to be utilized, these could significantly improve trade between Tanzania and Italy,” the Italian Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Roberto Mengoni, has observed.
The envoy cited investments in infrastructure development such as ports, railways and hospitality industries as among openings which could open up opportunities for increased trade between the two countries.
Dr Mengoni made the remarks during an interview on the sidelines of an event to launch civil society organizations’ community development projects and funding opportunities for non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and private companies by the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation (AICS).
“We have planned for a business forum in May this year where Italian and Tanzanian business communities will discuss and share ideas on areas they can work on to tap new business ventures,” he revealed.
Italy commands the proverbial ‘lion’s share’ in its trade relations with Tanzania; it exports machinery and technology while the former exports to the European country agricultural and fish products.
Tanzania meanwhile receives an average of 35,000 tourists per annum, most of whom are interested in culture, nature and historic tourism in Zanzibar, the envoy stated.
The AICS’s Head of External Relations, Mr Emilio Ciarlo, said the agency was geared to support sustainable tourism to create more jobs for the locals, among others. He mentioned other areas of support by the Italian aid agency as health, food security, education in addition to rural and culture development.
During the current fiscal year the agency has allocated 500 million Euros to support such projects in developing countries. “The government of Italy allocates 0.24 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year for international co-operation and we plan to increase the rate to 0.30 per cent of the economy by the year 2020,” he remarked.
At the occasion, the Director and Registrar of NGOs in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Marcel Katemba, hailed the new funding opportunities by Italian civil society organizations and private companies.
“The new arrangement requires implementing organizations to spend 97 per cent of funds on projects and only three per cent on administration … and this is a good move,” he declared.
In another development, the Registrar said his office had de-registered 110 NGOs which were operating against laws and regulations of