DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan’s state visit to Indonesia has received praise from economic stakeholders.
They commend the President’s efforts in establishing partnerships in key sectors such as the blue economy, agriculture, minerals and diplomatic capacity building.
The analysts believe that these collaborations, once fully exploited, are expected to greatly contribute to the acceleration of development.
In an exclusive interview with the esteemed publication ‘Daily News’, the analysts examined the impact of the four recently signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Indonesia, saying they will play a significant role in driving the country’s economic transformation.
Professor Kitojo Wetengere, an expert in economic diplomacy from the University of Arusha, emphasised the need for collective determination, optimism, and commitment among citizens to bolster the government’s endeavours in implementing all the specified targets outlined in the MoUs.
“President Samia’s visit to Indonesia opened the door for harnessing the emerging rich economic sectors including the blue economy, oil and gas which are yet to be fully exploited.” Prof Wetengere said.
He proposed that Tanzania and its counterpart collaborate in the agriculture and minerals sectors to focus on value addition, thereby boosting the export of products with enhanced value.
“I consider any bilateral relation that leads to increasing value addition as the steppingstone for our country to realise the 2025 Development Vision that suggests for more export, a diversified and semi-industrialised economy to shift from the lower middle to upper middle-income status,” he said.
“By collaborating with technologically advanced nations such as Indonesia, we can effectively utilise all the available resources at our disposal,” he added.
He expressed his thoughts on the Tanzania-Indonesia Business and Investment Forum, stating that the forum provided a platform for producers such as farmers, manufacturers and traders to acquaint themselves with fresh prospects and advancements in technology.
Mr Medard Wilfred, a seasoned business expert from Mwanza, emphasised that the bilateral cooperation provides opportunities for Tanzanian farmers to embrace mechanisation through the adoption of machinery production from their counterparts.
He highlighted that increasing agricultural production can lead to surplus, which can be effectively utilised to meet the demands of both local and international markets.
Mr Wilfred added that Tanzanians from various economic sectors, such as fisheries and agriculture, have the opportunity to compete in the global market as long as their products exhibit superior quality that adheres to international standards, including packaging.
He emphasised the importance for citizens to effectively utilise all the government-established infrastructures, such as the cargo plane, to conveniently transport their goods to Indonesia.
On his part, the Secretary General of the Tanzania Fishers Union (TAFU), Mr Jephta Machandalo, underlined the need for both countries to collaborate in tackling the issue of illegal fishing, as it leads to the depletion of marine resources.
To build the capacity of local fishers, Mr Machandalo said the inked MoUs on the blue economy and marine affairs cooperation should promote the adoption of cage fishing, which is biodiversity friendly.
“In order to address the issue of illegal fishing, it is imperative that we enhance our fishing practices,” he said.
Economist Dr Isaac Safari from the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) said diligent work ethic, curiosity and patriotism should guide citizens in learning modern technologies from Indonesia which are needed to transform the country economy.
“Modern technologies should be operated by the local workforce in the end,” Dr Safari said.
President Dr Samia paid a visit to Indonesia from January 24 to 26 this year, upon receiving an invitation from her counterpart, Mr Joko Widodo. It is worth mentioning that Mr Joko Widodo had previously visited Tanzania in August last year, which further solidified the longstanding diplomatic relationship that has been nurtured for over 60 years.
While in Jakarta at the Tanzania-Indonesia Business and Investment Forum, the Head of State, Dr Samia said Tanzania targets a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 1 billion US dollar from Indonesia in the next few years.
She highlighted several factors including robust political stability, a strategic geographical location, a favourable business environment, and an established ease of doing business as among reasons why global investors should choose Tanzania.