Tanzania’s Economic Progress and the Urgency of Trade Cost Reduction

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Summary: The Country Economic Memorandum for the United Republic of Tanzania, titled ‘Privatizing Growth,’ highlights the significant social and economic strides made by the country, transforming from a Low-Income Country to a Lower Middle-Income Country. With an annual growth rate of 6.1 percent since 2000, Tanzania has witnessed improvements in life expectancy, school attendance, and increased access to electricity. Despite these achievements, the report emphasizes the immediate need to reduce trade costs, pointing out that such costs hinder market access and discourage exports. The memorandum proposes a two-fold approach, addressing both behind-the-border and at-the-border policies to enhance trade operations. Specific recommendations include eliminating high tariffs, addressing non-tariff measures, and simplifying documentation and procedures to improve customs risk management. The report also underscores the potential benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) while emphasizing the necessity of comprehensive reforms to capitalize on this opportunity.


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