Chinese overshadow Tanzanians at Dar fair

Sabasaba grounds, in DSM
Chinese and Rwandese traders have overshadowed local people at the 36th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair launched by the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) yesterday.

A survey by this paper has shown that many Chinese companies, followed by Rwandese, have done enough preparations for setting pavilions to exhibit their commodities.

These ranged from clothing materials, foot-ware, computer accessories, electric and electronic equipment, building materials to various forms of cellphones and automobile spare parts.

The famous Kikwete ground, which was occupied by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare last year, is now occupied by Chinese dealers who have erected over 50 pavilions, according to the survey.  Rwandan dealers have specialised in setting pavilions of handicraft products made in Rwanda.

Further observation indicated that this year’s trade fair has not attracted many public and government institutions as in previous years.

In an interview with The Citizen yesterday, the acting director general of TanTrade, Mr Samuel Mvingira, said the Chinese had fielded more than 20 companies.

While the Chinese had been scrambling for space, Tanzanians did not show up in big numbers, including private and public institutions, he said.

“This time around there are many Chinese and Rwandese exhibitors. In fact, they have overtaken others in terms of preparations. There are some exhibitors from China that have failed to occupy pavilion spaces.”

The TanTrade acting director general said the head of state from Lesotho, Mr Thomas Thabane. is expected to officially open the fair next Tuesday.

According to him, Chinese exhibitors have a special Chinese exhibition week starting on Sunday (July 1) to Wednesday. This indicated that they have taken an aggressive approach in marketing Chinese products, he said.  He called upon Tanzanians at the fair to exhibit their products and learn various skills and experiences in processing products.

The fair was a significant tool for raising awareness and educating people on how to embark on entrepreneurship for economic empowerment, he said.

Speaking recently at the TanTrade office at the Mwalimu Nyerere Trade fair grounds, the representative of Chinese trade fair programmes, brands of China African showcase, 2012, Mr Liu Zhiyong, said the Chinese government had decided to launch such a  programme in order to promote China-Africa trade relations.

“The fair was jointly organised by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the governments of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong Provinces. The brands of China Africa showcase will be held for five days from the July 1 to 5, Mr Zhiyong said.

According to him, the Chinese exhibition will cover an area of 2,600 square metres. It will have, 150 standard booths and 110 exhibitors from eight Chinese provinces or autonomous regions.

“Based on the product categories of exhibitors, the African showcase is divided into four exhibition zones. These will have machinery, vehicles, electronic equipment, home appliances, electronic, solar energy and related products, consumer goods, hardware, construction materials, chemicals, healthcare and comprehensive products,” said the representative of Chinese dealers.

African showcase 2012 provides a broad stage for Chinese brands to showcase themselves to Africa. According to him, they enable Africans to gain a deeper knowledge of the Chinese brand.

Last year’s 35th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair attracted a record of over 1,300 local and foreign companies from 17 countries.

Officially opened by President Jakaya Kikwete, it also attracted 28 private companies from various countries without being dominated by a single foreign country.
Source: The Citizen,

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