DAR ES SALAAM, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has recorded a sharp decline in exports in 2017 as the country geared toward attaining an industrial economy.
Minister for Industries, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage told the National Assembly on Thursday that exports of goods to China dropped to 142.3 million U.S. dollars in 2017 from 355.9 million U.S. dollars in 2016.
Tabling his ministry's budget estimates for the 2018/19 financial year, Mwijage said Tanzania's exports to the East African Community (EAC) countries also declined to 349.6 million U.S. dollars in 2017 from 437.7 million U.S. dollars in 2016.
"Exports to the United States dropped from 139.2 million U.S. dollars in 2016 to 75.7 million U.S. dollars in 2017," Mwijage told the House in the capital Dodoma.
He added that exports of goods to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states fell from 1,017.9 million U.S. dollars in 2016 to 877.8 million U.S. dollars in 2017.
Mwijage attributed the drop in exports to a drop in gold prices, production of similar products by many manufacturers and a decline of sales of precious metal ores, tea, coffee and cotton.
The minister said the government was taking measures aimed at fixing the worrisome trend, including enhancing production of crops such as sunflower, cotton tea and coffee.