TZ, HUNGARY TIES: Samia commits to expand trade

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed Tanzania’s commitment to further strengthen bilateral ties with Hungary to maximise potentials in the areas of trade and investment, which are currently scanty.

The low volume of bilateral investment and trade which stood at 4.2 million US dollars (about 9.6bn/-) in 2022, came as a wake-up call during the President of Hungary Katalin Novák  working visit in the country.

Dr Samia said this while briefing the media at the State House in Dar es Salaam, on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with the Hungarian President, expressed optimism to improve and expand business and investment between the two countries.

“We have noted with concern the low volume of bilateral investment and trade. Thus, we have registered our commitment to explore more opportunities to maximise potential as well as promote business and investment between the two countries,” said President Samia.

She added: “We have also exchanged views on how our two countries could strengthen cooperation at multilateral level. This is in line with Hungary’s desire to reinvigorate its relation with Africa, which is an important undertaking given the geopolitical and strategic position of Africa in the international relations.

According to her, the two sought the possibility of encouraging investors from Hungary to invest in strategic areas such as renewable energy, tourism, information and communication technology (ICT), service delivery, mining, fisheries, manufacturing and finance.

“I wish to reiterate my government’s commitment to render the necessary facilitation and assistance to the Hungarian business community wishing to invest in Tanzania,” noted Dr Samia.

For, tourism is among key priority areas of President Samia, she invited investors from Hungary to come to Tanzania and explore opportunities for investment in the tourism sector.

She noted that in 2022 Tanzania received 7,188 tourists from the European country, referring to the number as very significant and highest to be recorded from Hungary.

President Samia was optimistic that her counterpart’s three-day visit to Tanzania will act as a catalyst to attract more tourists from Hungary coming to the country.

On education, Dr Samia observed that Hungary has been an important partner to Tanzania, particularly in higher learning. Together, the two countries have advanced cooperation through the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme.

It is in this context, the two Heads of State witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in the education sector between the Minister for Education, Science and Technology Prof Adolf Mkenda and the State Secretary of Hungary Mr Tristan Azbej.

She underscored that the signed agreement comes with a new approach which will see both Hungarian and Tanzania students benefit from the scholarships. Under this agreement, Hungarian students will be studying in the country’s universities.

To start with, President Samia said, Tanzania will be accommodating five students from Hungary, while the latter will absorb 30 from the East African country, noting that over time the number will shoot up.

President Samia expressed recognition to the government of Hungary for extending the support.

As the first female leaders of their respective countries, the two hold the gender and women empowerment agenda very close to their hearts. It is on this backdrop that the two leaders placed the issue as a key priority in their governments.

“I wish to convey appreciation as we share similar aspirations toward these crucial aspects, in our bilateral meeting. We have agreed to put women empowerment, gender and child development on the top agenda of our bilateral and multilateral engagements,” maintained Dr Samia.

As for multilateralism, they agreed to work together on various issues of converging interest, including, supporting each other’s candidature for the various positions in the international organisations.

President Samia stressed that the outcome of the visit will lead to a stronger, closer and more dynamic relationship between Tanzania and Hungary.

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