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Tanzanian wine producers pin high hopes on Chinese market

Xinhua by 09/11/2023  

Tanzanian grape farmers and wine producers are looking to the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai, which runs from Sunday to Friday, with great expectations.

One of the showcased products at the event is a range of wine brands from Alko Vintages, a local winery based in Dodoma, Tanzania's capital.

Alpha Kefa Mabwai, a grape farmer from Hombolo village in the Dodoma region, expressed his pride at seeing wines made from the grapes he cultivates featured at the expo. "The exhibition of wines made in Tanzania at the 6th CIIE will have various benefits, mainly it will promote our grape farming and it will open up a huge market in China with a population of 1.4 billion people," Mabwai told Xinhua while tending to his two-and-a-half-hectare grape farm.

Stefano Elimringi, another grape farmer from the same village, shares this enthusiasm and emphasizes the expo's potential for attracting Chinese investors to the grape farming and winemaking sector in Tanzania. "It makes me so proud to see our locally produced wines made from our grapes exhibited at the 6th CIIE."

shows several bottles of wine produced in Dodoma, Tanzania.(Photo by Herman Emmanuel/Xinhua)

Frank Kato, the sales manager for Alko Vintages, is excited about showcasing high-quality wines made from a variety of tropical grapes, carefully selected from family-owned vineyards in the Dodoma region.

"The vineyards are largely semi-organic, cultivated by hand and watered with fresh spring waters, originating from the Eastern Arc Mountains of Udzungwa," Kato said, adding that Alko Vintages, being the largest wine producer in Tanzania, sees the CIIE as a golden opportunity to introduce a variety of its brands to the Chinese market.

The Chinese market is incredibly vast and crucial globally, Kato said, noting that their participation in the 6th CIIE is an opportunity to reach a wider audience, increase sales, and expand their market share.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Chen Mingjian expressed her belief that the 6th CIIE would be a fantastic platform for Chinese consumers to become more acquainted with "Made in Tanzania" products.

"We hope that Tanzania's products and services will enter China through the CIIE, stand firm based on their own advantages, and establish close cooperative relationships with Chinese partners," Chen said last month at a farewell ceremony for Tanzanian exhibitors attending the 6th CIIE held at the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam, the business hub of Tanzania.

China looked forward to Tanzania using China's developed e-commerce platform to establish a sales network, expand sales channels and bring Tanzanian products to Chinese customers, the ambassador said.