Bujumbura. Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has described Tanzania’s trade exhibitions held for the first time in Bujumbura as a trade opportunity for the two countries that needs to be thoroughly implemented for the economic benefits of the two countries.
Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade) in partnership with Tanzanian Embassy in Burundi and Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), jointly organised the trade exhibitions which concluded at the weekend to explore available business and investment opportunities in Burundi
President Nkurunziza admired the quality of Tanzanian products when he toured the displays and called for maximum utilisation of business and investment opportunities.
The exhibitions which started on September 27 closed in Bujumbura today, October 1.
He said the trade exhibition was an indication of strong bilateral ties between Tanzania and Burundi.
“Our bilateral ties are growing from strength to strength. I believe the objective of integration by East African Community (EAC) is through the exhibition of this nature being thoroughly implemented. I promise to support efforts to ensure economic growth of the two countries,” he said.
The move increases confidence among Tanzanian organisers of the event over the market availability.
Speaking at the same occasion, Tantrade board chairman Mr Christopher Chiza said it was a positive and encouraging move towards expanding the market of Tanzania’s goods beyond the borders.
“When we succeed to access the Burundi market, it means we are expanding our market in the region. We are also eying the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo because we have been told that they have also been accessing Tanzanian goods through Burundi,” said Mr Chiza.
He added; “For a longtime as explained by President Nkurunziza, entrepreneurs from Burundi have been forced to import food and other goods from Tanzania. They have also been exporting the same goods to Eastern Congo. We are thus targeting a wide market of over 20million people… it is not a small thing.”
The acting director general of Tantrade, Mr Edwin Rutageruka expressed his commitment towards improving business relations between Tanzania and Burundi even after the exhibition has closed.
“This is just the beginning, already the businessmen whom we came together in these exhibitions have exchanged contacts with their Burundian counterparts and they will arrange so that they can be supplying them with goods in future,” he said.
The exhibitions are being held under Tantrade campaigns to ensure that the annual Dar es Salaam International Trade Exhibitions are crossing the borders.