Towards the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference: Stakeholders’ Perspectives in Tanzania.

    Tanzania has maintained reasonably high annual economic growth averaged 7% over the past five years making it among the top twenty fastest growing economies in the world and thrashing the Sub-Saharan Africa average annual growth rate of about 4.4% during the same period (World Bank, 2017). Tanzanian economy is greatly dependent on agriculture and highly dominated by smallholder farmers (about 90% of all farmers). The country is among the key members in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations as the multilateral trading system is developing at rapid pace. Tanzania is a founding affiliate of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and it actively participates in this multilateral trade initiative which brings new opportunities and challenges to development. The benefits accruing from WTO negotiations depend on how well the country is prepared for and effectively participate in the negotiation process to express and defend its national interests. Trade negotiations may to the have different content and framework but in often cases multilateral negotiations depend on the nature of the economy of the member states. Tanzania, like many other LDCs, is branching away from relying solely on traditional exports (cotton and tobacco export) to also exploiting opportunities from markets for the nontraditional exports. The WTO negotiation is of vast importance as far as this growth and development objective is concerned. Another objective of the country’s participation in WTO negotiations is to obtain the mutual support from the member states on the technical and financial aspects necessary to meet export market requirements and to thereby conforming to the standards as well as other international markets’ entry requirements in the multilateral trade. Also, Tanzania view WTO negotiations as a room to address its production and supply constraints, so as to develop fully and increase its production potential for both domestic and export markets.

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ESRFs activities are supported by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)