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Tanzania’s Zanzibar trade forum bolsters ties among African countries

Tanzania’s Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum has bolstered business and financial ties between Zanzibar and Africa, the East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement on Friday.

The statement said the two-day forum that ended on Friday put forth proposals to strengthen trade and investment partnerships in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Zanzibar’s Minister of Trade and Industrial Development Omar Said Shaaban said the AfCFTA will enhance the industrialization in Africa, as well as strengthen continental value chains and value addition.

In 2021, the East African Community (EAC) gross domestic product grew 6.3 percent but is projected to slow to 5.1 percent in 2022 due to global shocks, said EABC Executive Director John Bosco Kalisa.

He said the EAC bloc is still the most integrated and fastest-growing regional economic bloc in Africa despite the global shocks.

Kalisa emphasized the importance of improving industrial productive capacity and infrastructure connectivity, eliminating non-tariff barriers, and easing access to capital and trade finance to increase intra-Africa trade.

He said Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania have been chosen to champion intra-Africa trade under the AfCFTA-guided trade initiative.

The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum attracted 300 delegates from government ministries, investment promotion authorities, international investors, and business leaders.

The forum was organized by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority, the EABC, and the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce. Enditem

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