INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday held talks with President John Magufuli on a range of issues, with the former praising him for his efforts in building the nation and wishing Tanzanians the best in the coming general elections.
In the telephone conversation, the two leaders also spoke on issues related to the good bilateral relations, trade, friendship and historical relations between Tanzania and India.
The prime minister warmly recalled his July 2016 visit to Dar es Salaam and stressed on the importance that India attaches to its traditionally friendly ties with Tanzania.
He reiterated India’s commitment to partnering Tanzania in its development journey as per the aspirations and needs of the Tanzanian government and people.
The two leaders reviewed the overall bilateral relationship and also expressed satisfaction at the growing development partnership, educational linkages and trade and investment flows between India and Tanzania and discussed possibilities of further accelerating these trends.
In a statement that was issued by the Director of Presidential Communications, Mr Gerson Msigwa, Mr Modi also gave a recap of what transpired at the recent G20 summit.
“In the summit, member countries agreed that international financial institutions should provide debt relief to poor and developing countries, which have suffered from Coronavirus pandemic,” the statement read.
President Magufuli expressed gratitude to Mr Modi for a recap of the G20 summit and called on such financial institutions when issuing debt relief to consider Tanzania that has also suffered from the effects of Covid-19 to boost its economy.
Furthermore, President Magufuli has commended India for its effort to research on coronavirus vaccines that he believes will be successful and that Tanzania will be among the beneficiaries, though the pandemic has rapidly declined in the country.
Dr Magufuli said India is among the five leading trading partners of Tanzania as well as an important source of essential machinery and pharmaceutical products.
He also thanked India for the soft loans that are being provided in the country for various development projects.
He cited some of them as a loan for the construction of the Nelson Mandela Institute of Technology, water projects loans and scholarships for Tanzanian students pursuing health, engineering and ICT in India.
Water project loans include 225.9bn/- in Ruvu - Dar es Salaam, which has been completed, 611.5bn/- for Lake Victoria to Tabora, Nzega and Igunga water projects which are about to be completed, 1.2tril/- for water projects in 28 towns of which implementation is on-going and 209.9bn/- for Zanzibar water infrastructure, which is under construction.
President Magufuli has assured Mr Modi that Tanzania will develop and deepen its relationship with India, and has invited Indian business persons and investors to invest locally in various sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, livestock, mining and others as Tanzania has created a favourable investment environment.