How Tanzania, China ties spearhead socio-economic development

DAR ES SALAAM: AS Tanzania and China mark 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, the two countries boast of comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, which has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of its people.

Through economic, trade and people-to-people exchanges, China has become the largest source of foreign investment in the country with data from the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) indicating that between the period of 1997 and April 2023 Chinese investment hit over 10 billion US dollars (around 25tri/-).

In the course, China has remained Tanzania’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years, with bilateral trade reaching 8.31 billion US dollars (around 20tri/-) in 2022.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Mr January Makamba disclosed this during the commemoration for the 74th anniversary of the founding of China, which convened in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

Mr Makamba noted that China’s rapid economic growth over the years has made tremendous contributions to global prosperity, economic stability and recovery. And, the country’s contribution to world poverty reduction cannot be ignored.

According to him, China’s remarkable journey is a testament of resilience, determination, vision, leadership, hard work and an unwavering commitment to development and progress by the Chinese people, making the country a good source of inspiration to its counterparts.

“The deepening ties between our two countries have grown from strength to strength over the years, encompassing various areas such as agriculture, health, education, defence, trade, investment, culture and people-to-people exchanges, infrastructure notably the TAZARA Railway, which is symbol of solidarity,” said Mr Makamba.

He noted that Tanzania is looking forward to strengthening economic cooperation which has become a cornerstone of the Tanzania-China bilateral relationship.

The minister hailed the government of China and the Communist Party of China for leading the path to modernisation, achieving rapid economic growth as well as long-term social stability in the 74 years.

For her part, the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Chen Mingjian said in the 59 years of China-Tanzania relations, all-round and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields have been continuously consolidated and developed, the two countries relationship have become a model for China-Africa relationship and South-South cooperation.

She indicated that President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s successful visit to China last year in November led to the elevation of China-Tanzania relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, which drew the blueprint for the development of bilateral relations in the new era.

“China has remained Tanzania’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years, with bilateral trade reaching 8.31 billion US dollars in 2022. Take agricultural cooperation as an example, China encourages and supports the development of agriculture in Tanzania and keeps expanding imports of featured agricultural products from Tanzania,” she stated.

Ambassador Mingjian revealed that Tanzania’s featured agricultural products, such as soybeans and avocados continue to gain market access in China, indicating that the agricultural cooperation between the two countries envisions more contributions to job creation and poverty reduction in the country.

She also noted that China is also the largest source of foreign investment in Tanzania, citing an example of the 311 million US dollars Wangkang Sapphire Float Glass Factory investment project inaugurated by President Samia in the past week as among pathways to the industrialisation process in Tanzania.

Such establishment is expected to create a large number of job opportunities for Tanzania and bring tangible development dividends to the local people.

She observed that personnel exchanges between China and Tanzania have been more frequent and strengthened.

“Proactive effort to support Air Tanzania in increasing the frequency of direct flights between Dar es Salaam and Guangzhou, which now operates three times a week has further facilitated people-to-people exchanges between our two countries,” the Ambassador pointed out.

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