Implementation of pro-business policies has increased intra-Africa trade. Tanzania’s FDI net inflows have been on an upward trajectory, overtaking Kenya and ranking as the third country with the highest inflows in East Africa.

While government support on cross-border is relatively positive, issues in recent years such as foreign currency shortages significantly impede cross-border trade, as businesses struggle to acquire the necessary foreign currency to pay for their imports, say findings in the latest Standard Bank Africa Trade Barometer - Tanzania Country Focus Report.

This barometer launched to address the information vacuum surrounding African trade data, is now one of the continent’s leading trade indexes, supporting the growth of intra-Africa trade. The fact that most surveyed businesses were small businesses is one of the central value adds of the publication.

In its third issue, the barometer concentrates on ten countries: Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Being Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, trading in Tanzania as Stanbic Bank, has leveraged its presence and expertise across the continent to create the Stanbic Bank Africa Trade Barometer (SB ATB).

This is the second country report for Tanzania that contains the analysis of the primary and secondary data gathered specifically for Tanzania and showcases trends and opportunities in trade within the country. A total of 227 businesses were surveyed in Tanzania with 70% of these being small businesses.

“As we all know, data is gold. This report is unique as it addresses the scarcity of cross-border trade data in the country and across the continent that adequately represents small businesses. We as the go-to bank for trade are filling that information vacuum,” said Fredrick Max, Stanbic Head of Business and Commercial Banking during the report launch.

Seven broad categories are used to construct the ATB Index ranking by collecting data from primary and secondary sources. These categories are trade openness, access to finance, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, foreign trade, governance and economy, and traders’ financial behavior.

"The ATB reveals that high GDP growth and a stable inflation rate have positively impacted Tanzania's macroeconomic conditions." Said Fredrick, highlighting that 94% of businesses anticipate revenue growth in the coming year, reflecting positive perceptions of the government's support for cross-border trade.

The research shows that businesses in Tanzania continue to have positive perceptions of the role that the Government is playing in supporting cross-border trade activities. 94% of businesses expect their revenue to increase over the next year due to the perception that demand for their goods and services will increase.

This is most likely a reflection of deeper bilateral economic ties with other countries as well as improved activity within trading blocs such as the East African Community, as well as increased investment in infrastructure to facilitate cross-border trade with other African countries.

On the other hand, businesses spotlighted tariff and non-tariff barriers as aspects that undermine their ability to trade with both the rest of Africa and the rest of the World.

Although there are many tariffs and other, non-tariff barriers inhibiting intra-Africa trade as also defined and articulated in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), one of the key non-tariff barriers is information, which the Trade Barometer is helping address through up-to-date survey data on the views of African businesses, the environment they operate in, trade behavior and their perceptions on trade.

Businesses also identified access to credit as a challenge, particularly for smaller businesses. 80% of small businesses surveyed facilitate cross-border sales via cash. For larger businesses, digital payment methods are the primary methods for facilitating cross-border transactions in Tanzania.

This result may be driven by the fact that the surge in credit provision has not translated to increased loans for the trade sector, as the percentage of total credit to the trade sector declined by 1% in 2022.

Respondents from Tanzanian enterprises emphasized the importance of flexible loan terms and less restrictive clearance requirements. Additionally, surveyed businesses stressed the significance of insurance provision for their goods.

“Stanbic Bank in Tanzania is committed to driving the growth of cross-border trade further by continuously providing advisory and innovative financing solutions to homegrown businesses and championing PPPs for sustainable development,” Fredrick said.

Looking ahead, significant investments by the Tanzanian government in infrastructure are anticipated to further enhance business perceptions, a crucial aspect to monitor in future editions of the Stanbic Bank Africa Trade Barometer (SB ATB) in Tanzania.

From the 1st left is Fredrick Max, Head of Business and Commercial Banking, 2nd left is Fauzia Malik, CEO-Super Meals LTD- Cool Blue, Middle - Dunstan Kolimba Head of Transactional Solution, 2 nd from the right is Rajab Kondo, CCO- GSM Group, and to the right is Godfrey Mondi, Head of Program, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, seated on a panel to discuss current trends of the cross-border trade landscape in Tanzania.
Fredrick Max, Head, Business & Commercial Banking, sheds light on trade trends,
data, and opportunities within the nation that can drive diverse economic interactions
with the rest of Africa.
Anthony Kimambo, Head, Trade - Business and Commercial Banking, giving a warm
welcome to the guests, ready to launch the 2 nd edition of the Stanbic Bank Tanzania Trade Barometer Report.
Zainul Chandoo, Economist at Stanbic Bank Tanzania presenting the economic
highlights and data trends for the country at the launch of the 2 nd Edition of the SB Africa Trade Barometer - Tanzania focus report.
Paving the way to trade diversification, Stanbic Bank launched the 2nd Edition of the Stanbic Bank Africa Trade Barometer Report with a focus on Tanzania.

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Tanzanian blog operating since 2005, covering International news and Local News, including Politics, Fashion, Social Scenes, Interviews, Movies, Events, personalities and anything positive happening worldwide. Written in Swahili and English targeting both Swahili and English readers.

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