The volume of transit cars from Japan and European countries to Zimbabwe through the Dar es Salaam Port has been steadily increasing to 46,519 units recorded during the 2021/2022 fiscal year from 14,946 units recorded in the 2020/2021.
In a significant move to tap into the lucrative trade potential, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has officially inaugurated an office in Harare, Zimbabwe, aimed at streamlining the importation of cars and various goods from the ocean-linked nation of Tanzania.
This move is set to alleviate the logistical challenges faced by Zimbabweans who have had to travel long distances to access their second-hand cars originating from Asia and Europe, typically routed through the port of Dar es Salaam.
Trade volumes between Tanzania and Zimbabwe have been steadily increasing, prompting the establishment of this TPA office in Zimbabwe.
TPA plays a pivotal role in managing ports that serve the Tanzanian hinterland and landlocked countries such as Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, the Comoros, and Zimbabwe.
Tanzanian officials, led by Minister of Works, Transport, and Communications Professor Makame Mbarawa, formally opened the TPA office in Belgravia, Harare. Professor Mbarawa highlighted the importance of the port industry in Tanzania, which contributes over 50 percent of total tax revenues collected in the country annually through taxes on imports and exports.
Professor Mbarawa emphasized the Tanzanian government’s commitment to supporting the business community and addressing the challenges faced by Zimbabwean port users, including the long distance from Dar es Salaam to Harare and issues related to road facilities, transit time, and payment of port charges.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Permanent Secretary Engineer Joy Makumbe also noted that the presence of TPA in Zimbabwe aligns with the government’s strategy to become a land-linked nation. Zimbabwe has increasingly favored the Dar es Salaam Port, particularly for vehicle imports from Asia, and there are plans to revitalize railway infrastructure to facilitate the movement of bulk goods and vehicles by train.
Car dealers in Harare welcomed the establishment of TPA offices in Zimbabwe, expressing their gratitude to both governments for the development. They anticipate that this move will significantly ease the challenges they face when importing cars through Tanzania, providing them with a local point of contact for their issues and grievances.
The opening of the TPA office in Zimbabwe signifies a significant step toward enhancing trade and cooperation between Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with a focus on addressing logistical challenges and fostering economic growth.