DAR ES SALAAM: AS the volume of trade between Tanzania and Türkiye clocked 360 million US dollars (around 899bn/-) last year, prospects show there is more room for further development in the areas of bilateral trade and investment.
In his remarks at an occasion to mark the 100th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye held in Dar es Salaam on Thursday evening, Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr Damas Ndumbaro said for decades, Türkiye has remained to be one among Tanzania’s strategic and reliable development partners.
The event convened at the Embassy of Türkiye in Tanzania featured entertainment, fanfare and fascinating fireworks.
He indicated that in the recent past, the two countries have witnessed a growing business relation with Türkiye businesses stepping closer and becoming among the most reliable trading partners to Tanzania in Eastern and Central Africa.
“According to COMTRADE, there has been an increase of imports from Türkiye to Tanzania since 2019 worth US $ 257.77 million in 2022,” said Dr Ndumbaro.
The Minister cited a report of the Turkish Contractors Association which shows that in the last two years, Tanzania was ranked the third country with the highest number of Turkish projects totaling 1.9 billion US dollars (exceeding 4.7tri/-).
According to him, the quest to build even stronger ties of cooperation between the two countries has been vivid and manifested in many ways, including the exchange of visits between the Heads of State.
Dr Ndumbaro noted that the reciprocal state visit by Türkiye President Erdogan to Tanzania in 2017 was an ice breaker to a renewed friendship and cooperation between the brotherly countries.
Equally, the government is pleased by the manner in which ministers and senior officials of the respective countries have been engaging on various issues of mutual interest to development cooperation.
“The government reckons with appreciation the contribution of this Embassy and the Turkish International Development Cooperation and Coordination Agency for facilitation and support in implementing various development projects in Tanzania, ranging from education, water, health to infrastructure,” he said.
He added: “Our government continues to create a conducive business environment to attract investments and promote entrepreneurship.
“We have implemented regulatory reforms, including the Blueprint Regulatory Reforms, to simplify administrative procedures, reduce bureaucratic red tape and improve the regulatory environment.”
Such reforms have resulted in improved ease of doing business indicators, such as streamlined business registration, efficient customs procedures and enhanced investor protection.
For his part, the Ambassador of Türkiye to Tanzania, Dr Mehmet Güllüoğlu indicated that Türkiye and Tanzania continue to enjoy brotherly relations that are built on trust, mutual respect, shared values and culture.
He revealed that Türkiye will strive to establish win-win relations between the two countries. Türkiye and Tanzania have been collaborating on various fronts, including trade, education and infrastructure development among others.
“Our bilateral trade volume exceeded 360 million US dollars last year, reaching its highest points…I believe that there is even more room for the locals in our bilateral trade from both sides,” noted the Ambassador.
Ambassador Güllüoğlu revealed that Turkish airlines operated direct flights between Istanbul to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar connecting continents to Tanzania, contributing significantly to the tourism sector.
He noted that Türkiye company Yapı Merkezi was implementing the strategic four phases Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, thereby contributing to more than 1000 employment opportunities and technical-know-how of Tanzania infrastructure development.
This also includes a recent deal between Turkish company Dearsan and the Ministry of Transport regarding building of a shipyard in Kigoma and constructing commercial vessels to operate in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria.
On Education, Türkiye has hosted hundreds of Tanzanian students each year in Turkish universities and High Schools. Whereas last year, 52 Tanzanian students were granted scholarship opportunities to different programmes, including medicine, engineering and other departments.
Similarly, the schools in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha, Turkish Maarif Schools are expanding their capacity for qualified and reachable education for Tanzanian students, said the Ambassador.
“As Türkiye celebrate their 100 years’ anniversary, they deliver their pledge to continue strengthening relations with Tanzania,” he stressed.