Dar eyes enhanced trade ties with Saudi Arabia

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA is looking to promote considerably its trade, investment and tourism opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as available statistics do not reflect the cordial relationship enjoyed by the two countries.

The balance of trade between the two countries between 2020 and 2021 ranged from 10-15 million US dollars, with Saudi Arabia importing commodities such as fertilisers and petrochemicals.

And the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Mbarouk Nassor Mbarouk is calling for concerted efforts in increasing trade, investment and tourism in the country.

“Despite cordial relations between the two countries the trade volume, investment and tourism statistics do not reflect the potential that exists. It’s our desire to employ concerted efforts to promote trade, investment and tourism for mutual benefits of the two countries and people,” the Deputy Minister said at the commemorations of the 93 National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia held in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday,

“It is my belief that the commencement of direct flights between Tanzania and Saudi Arabia operating from Julius Nyerere International Airport and Jeddah International Airport four times a week will be a great impetus in promoting the endeavour,” added Ambassador Mbarouk.

He commended the government of Saudi Arabia for summoning the Saudi-Africa Summit and Afro-Arab Summit scheduled in November this year under the theme “Together for a foresighted Tomorrow”.

The two platforms will bring together leaders from Africa and Saudi Arabia to discuss pertinent issues of mutual interests.

“Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner for Africa, believing that the two important summits will bring forth tangible results, Tanzania is thus looking forward to actively participating in the two important forums,” he added.

Besides, the Ambassador King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and the friendly people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their unwavering support that has seen the implementation of various projects in Tanzania on sectors of education, infrastructure, health, water and information and communication technology.

The projects include Ruiche Irrigation Scheme in Kigoma Same-Manga-Korogwe water supply, Mugango-Kyabakari-Butiama water supply, upgrading of Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar, construction of Kibiti-Vibindu Road project, Chake Chake-Wete road project in Pemba, rehabilitation of Pemba Airport, construction and rehabilitation of rural project in Zanzibar.

He expressed appreciation to King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre for the noble work of saving people’s lives in Tanzania especially at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI)

“I am aware that a team of 33 cardiac doctors from Saudi Arabia under the auspices of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre visited Tanzania in August and September last year and successfully performed open heart surgeries for 74 children at JKCI.

“Similarly, a team of doctors from the same cadre was in Tanzania early this month to perform medical procedures on 30 underprivileged children,” said Ambassador Mbarouk, noting that Tanzania was immensely grateful.

For his part, the new Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Tanzania Yahya Ahmed Okeish observed that Saudi Arabia was doing its best to strengthen and develop these fraternal relations in various fields, especially trade, economic, investment, and cultural fields.

“My country has taken the initiative to open its embassy in Tanzania, this initiative affirms the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s keenness to deepen its relations, where Saudi Airlines has also launched a direct flight between Jeddah and Dar es Salaam, which would contribute to strengthening bilateral relations,” he said.

Ambassador Yahya extended appreciation to President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, for her interest and support in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

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