Tanzania opens new consulate in China's richest province

A night view of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on March 10, 2018. Photo via Xinhua

What you need to know:

  • The new consulate has been opened in Guangdong Province, one of the richest in China. Its GDP is approximately $1.7 trillion, similar to that of some countries in the G20

Dar es Salaam. Businesses linked to Tanzania have been urged to make use of trade and investment opportunities available in China’s Guangdong Province, one of the richest, after the country opened a consulate there.

The province’s gross domestic product (GDP) is approximately $1.7 trillion, similar to that of some countries in the G20.

Speaking virtually from Beijing, Tanzania ambassador to China Mbelwa Kairuki said the Guangdong’s economy is the largest among China provinces and therefore, more business opportunities are available, adding: “More people, not only from Tanzania but from other parts of the world also are coming here for business.”

Meanwhile, media reports indicate that inaugural of the Consulate General Office in Guangzhou would enable Tanzania to take more advantage of opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development.

For instance, in 2021; goods worth over $1 billion in trade between China and Tanzania went through ports in Guangdong. It is said that the figure accounts for at least 20 percent of the total trade volume between the two sides.

At present, Guangzhou which is the capital city of Guangdong Province in South China and one of the largest cities in China, its high‑tech industry represents at least 50 percent of the total value of all industrial enterprises.

The advanced manufacturing industries – information technology, smart equipment and robots, and biomedicine – have further expanded, increasing by 11.6 percent, 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

According to Ambassador Kariuki, since Guangzhou is designated as a national commercial distribution hub and recognised for its nationally‑connected network of transportation, that is why the government saw the need to open a consulate there.

Adding that: “The government has also created an enabling environment to which the country is going to benefit such business opportunities…as part, Air Tanzania is now operating direct flights between Guangzhou and Dar es Salaam as well as cargo handling services.”

For his part, Mr Khatibu Makenga, the Consul General, sees Guangzhou as an international business hub adding that: “The city is a leader when it comes to manufacturing…which targets foreign markets.

He adds: “In fact, most of the goods that are sold by Tanzanian’s businesses, are manufactured here in Guangzhou. In terms of air connectivity, the city uses the Baiyun International Airport, the busiest in China, while in terms of water transport, the largest Nansha and Huangpu ports are being used.

According to Consul Makenga, with a population of at least 26 million people, the Guangdong per capita income stands at $15,570. The said figures are according to the province’s Statistical Bulletin of National Economic and Social Development 2021.

Therefore, said he: “Let’s use this opportunity, for trading our Tanzania made products and goods…with their massive population, our tourism sector would be benefited as these people are capable and willing to travel overseas.

In September last year, the government announced its intention to open a new consulate in Guangzhou in a move to support the foreign mission which currently operates from Beijing.

However, the opening, which was scheduled for October last year, was delayed as some preparations were still underway until last week when it was officially opened.