Tanzanian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Adudi Kajabu, has urged cross-border traders from Bulawayo to tap into vast trading opportunities existing in his country, adding the embassy was prepared to facilitate business linkages.
Kajuba told delegates at a one-day Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce conference on Trade and Investment Opportunities in Africa but with specific focus on Bulawayo, last Friday.
“Every day there are three buses that leave Harare to Tanzania with cross-border traders. The embassy is willing to assist Bulawayo traders to link up with the Tanzania business community,” said Kajabu.
“Many Chinese ships with bales of clothes dock in Tanzania and that tends to cut costs for traders who are mostly women. So, Bulawayo traders should also make full use of this advantage,” he added.
The ambassador said once the cross-border traders were organised into groups, he would take them to Tanzania to link them with other traders.
He said Zimbabweans did not require a visa to travel to Tanzania.
“Two years ago, I led a group of Mauritian traders to Tanzania and many of them have established businesses in my country as they managed to partner with other traders,” said Kajabu, who is also accredited to Mauritius.
Early this year, the Cross-Border Traders’ Association struck a deal with Wanyama Hotels, a group of hotels in Tanzania, to provide accommodation and transport around Dar-es-Salaam for the traders during shopping trips in the East African country.
The deal was meant to facilitate weekly shopping trips to Tanzania by cross-border traders under the association’s “fly now pay later” scheme.
Sixty-five percent of Tanzania’s economy is reportedly informal and dominated by cross-border traders.
Over the years, cross-border traders in Bulawayo have been doing business mostly with South African and Botswana.