Foreign exhibitors at Tanzania's leading trade fair fall over COVID-19

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DAR ES SALAAM, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The number of foreign exhibitors to Tanzania's 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) has dropped sharply from last year's 580 to 43 due the COVID-19 outbreak, a cabinet minister said on Thursday.

"Following the outbreak of the viral disease most of the countries around the world went to a lockdown which explains the small number of foreign exhibitors," the Minister for Industry and Trade, Innocent Bashungwa, told a news conference at the venue of the trade fair in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Latifa Khamis, Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) deputy director general, said most of the 43 foreign exhibitors came from the countries with business operations in Tanzania, including China, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and the Philippines, adding that the fair runs from July 1 to July 13.

"Although many foreign exhibitors cannot display their products at the trade fair, most of them will participate in business meetings to be conducted through video conferences," Bashungwa said ahead of the official opening of the 44th DITF by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday.

According to statistics by TanTrade, 580 foreign exhibitors from 35 countries and regions attended the 43rd DITF in 2019.

Bashungwa said the trade fair has attracted 2,835 local exhibitors compared to last year's 3,145 local exhibitors.

The DITF has established itself over years as a shop window for Tanzanian products as well as the east, central and southern African region.

The fair exhibits agricultural products, food and beverages, textiles, garments, manufacturing equipment, building materials and automobiles.

It is also a business platform for chemicals and cosmetics, timber and furniture, trade services, engineering products, machinery, information technology, handicrafts, consultancy and training. Enditem

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