MWANZA: BILATERAL trade between China and Tanzania has more than tripled in the last 10 years, with statistics indicating that the volume increased from 2.47 billion US dollars in 2012 to 8.31 billion US dollars in 2022.
The revelation was made by Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Chen Mingjian, over the weekend during her tour to inspect two infrastructures namely Magufuli Bridge and the lot five of the Central Line Standard-Gauge Railway (SGR), which have been implemented by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
She said that the success was due to the fact that over the past 10 years, China and Tanzania have taken initiative to run projects which cement cooperation between the two countries.
Ms Chen added that the trade volume between the countries will keep on expanding since China continues to be a reliable market to Tanzania’s products, mostly the agricultural ones including avocado, coffee, maize and tobacco as well as aquatic products.
“The Magufuli Bridge connects Geita and Mwanza Regions. Upon completion, it will become the longest low-tower cable-stayed bridge in East Africa and an international channel from Tanzania to the neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda and Uganda.
“It is of great significance in improving the quality of life of people in the Great Lakes region and promoting regional economic and social development,” she said, affirming that: “The project has been listed as a key project of “the Belt and Road” initiative that was proposed in 2013, by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Ambassador reiterated that the bridge will serve as an important sea channel for the neighbouring countries to access the Indian Ocean and become a transportation artery for the Central East African Corridor.
She stressed that mutual economic and social friendship will continue to be solid since Chinese companies create jobs for local Tanzanians with different professions, as well as practicing skills and technology transfer.
Equally, she commended Tanzania’s decision to have been choosing Chinese companies, whose costs for project implementation is affordable and time for accomplishment is guaranteed, hence, promotion of trade and economic growth.
“And now, Air Tanzania has introduced direct flight to China, three times a week. This supports much an expansion of mutual trade, social and economic friendship” she stressed.
General Manager of CCECC East Africa Limited, Mr Zhang Junle, supported the motion that upon its completion, the bridge will be the only lower pylon cable-stayed bridge in the Lake Zone and the longest of its kind in Africa, and it will shorten the commuting time between Kigongo and Busisi on both sides of Lake Victoria from two hours to five minutes.