SAMIA STATE VISIT TO INDIA: Massive benefits beckon

  • To scale up trade, investment and relations between two nations
  • TZ envisions to acquire more scholarship, training opportunities

TANZANIA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu four-day state visit in India is expected to reap significant dividends into the country’s economy, strengthening further existing ties which have long been built on historic, diplomacy, trade and people to people exchange.

Statistics indicate that the trade volume between Tanzania and India in 2020 was 3.14 billion US dollar (around 8tri/-) as compared to 2.14 billion US dollars in 2019, whereas the trade-in-balance is in favor of India by 500 million US dollars (about 1.25tri/-).

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Mr January Makamba disclosed in Dar es Salaam, yesterday during a press briefing that President Samia’s State Visit to India is expected to kick start from next Sunday to Wednesday.

Mr Makamba noted that India is among leading investors and trading partners of Tanzania. The ties existing between the two nations emanate from various spheres including culture and religion, noting maritime trade and people to people exchanges as among factors which have drawn the two countries closer.

According to him, India and Tanzania have a shared historical experience, whereas these traditional ties and the spirit of mutual cooperation have been consistently reinforced through various international co-operations, such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), decolonisation, liberation movements and many others.

“The major objective of the visit is to strengthen and uphold the existing relations between the two countries particularly in key strategic sectors like health, education, trade, security and defiance, blue economy, water and agriculture sector,” said Mr Makamba.

As Tanzania is currently promoting its new foreign policy which aims to promote economic diplomacy, he said the trip seeks to promote opportunities in the area of trade and investment by encouraging investors from India to come and invest into the country including in the area of establishing industrial parks.

The minister revealed that a-1,000-acre of land has been designated for the India business community to put an industrial park in Coast Region.

He also underscored the plan for Indian investors to come and put up a workshop for the production of maritime vessels.

Thus, the current endeavor being pursued by leaders aimed to spur the country’s development, noting that among ways employed was through encouraging reliable investment and trade opportunities.

According to him, India is the right candidate in scaling up the journey, considering its huge capital; therefore, the trip is expected to encourage and scale up trade and investment which is growing at a high pace.

Understanding some of the benefits which will be reaped from the trip, he said the country envisions to acquire more than 1,000 scholarship and training opportunities offered to Tanzania students in various fields of study.

India is among the largest countries in the digital revolution aspect, Tanzania expects to benefit from industrial investment in the critical area the likes of smart devices assembling factories.

Similarly, the country envisions to expand and further strengthen cooperation in the health sector, considering India’s outstanding record in this critical area in human life, noting that Tanzania eyes to benefit from the establishment of a kidney transplant centre and factory for producing human and animal vaccines.

He said that preparations for the above were ongoing, while pointing that they also envision strengthening collaboration in the two countries’ health facilities by building capacity, professionalism and expertise of their staff, with a goal of improving treatment. Improving access to quality and affordable medicines has also been placed at the centre of the trip.

In the area of agriculture, Tanzania expects to acquire more markets for its agricultural produce like cashew nut pigeon peas and many other crops.

The minister indicated that this year, pigeon peas which are cultivated across the country obtained a very high market value because India largely procured the crop.

“The goal is to ensure that Tanzania secures a reliable market share for pigeon peas in India regardless of the circumstance…we want to secure a quota,” stated Mr Makamba.

With regard to the water sector, the plan is to scale up project to draw water from Lake Victoria, which is implemented by Tanzania and India to the next phase. The major goal is to ensure 24 urban centres access a reliable water supply.

Briefing on the president’s itinerary, he said Dr Samia will arrive in India on Sunday and attend a state reception to be held in New Delhi on the next day and later head to Rajghat, where she will lay a wreath on the Samadhi of India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Thereafter, President Samia will meet in a closed doors session with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence, which will be followed by a government-to-government meeting between the delegation of Tanzania and that of host India.

The schedule will be followed by a luncheon prepared by Prime Minister Modi for President Samia, a press conference which will be accompanied by a signing ceremony of 15 agreements in the area mentioned above, noting that more others are anticipated in the course of the visit.

Upon her return to where she will be staying, President Samia will meet with key ministers including India’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education, Health and Trade along with those from Tanzania for follow up and how to go about what has been agreed upon.

Mr Makamba revealed that this was a new mechanism in the President’s visit.

In the evening, Dr Samia will attend a state banquet prepared by India’s President Droupadi Murmu, which will be preceded by a closed-door meeting.

On the second day of the visit, a Tanzania-India Business and Investment Forum will follow whereby 80 businesspersons from Tanzania will be meeting with their counterparts in India.

Present at the meeting will be the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) detailing opportunities found in Tanzania, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) and India’s business community. The meeting will be accompanied by a discussion, whereby Tanzanian ministers will further explain the opportunities.

“The forum is expected to exhaust details for enabling investment in Tanzania exhaustively, with a goal of obtaining more investors…the President is going to address the forum,” he said.

On October 11, Dr Samia will take part in a CEO roundtable with 17 India’s major business persons along with their ministers intensively discussing available opportunities in Tanzania and later meet one-on-one with them.

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