What Iohannis’ tour means

DAR ES SALAAM: ROMANIAN President Klaus Werner Iohannis is expected to visit Tanzania for a four-day state visit starting tomorrow.

During his visit, he will engage in crucial political consultations with President Samia Suluhu Hassan, with the two leaders expected to open new doors of trade relations between the two countries.

President Iohannis’s tour is strategically designed to reinforce Romania’s diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with Africa. His visit to Tanzania is part of a larger tour spanning four African nations, including Kenya, Cape Verde and Senegal.

This tour is a demonstration of Romania’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with the African continent.

With Tanzania prioritising economic diplomacy, the visit of the Romanian President presents an opportunity to improve trade relations between Dodoma and Bucharest.

Statistics show that in 2021, Tanzania exported products worth 4.26 million US dollars to Romania.

The main products exported were fish fillets (3.02 million US dollars), coffee (994,000 US dollars), and raw tobacco (224,000 US dollars).

Tanzania’s exports to Romania have been increasing at an annualised rate of 19.6 per cent, from 40,300 US dollars in 1995 to 4.26 million US dollars in 2021.

According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Tanzania’s exports to Romania slightly increased to 4.51 million US dollars in 2022.

The exports of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic invertebrates to Romania accounted for 4.1 million US dollars.

Meanwhile, Romania exported products worth 12.3 million US dollars to Tanzania. The main products exported were packaged medicaments (7.48 million US dollars), telephones (1.26 million US dollars) and laboratory reagents (298,000 US dollars).

Romania’s exports to Tanzania have been increasing at an annualised rate of 9.36 percent, from 1.2 million US dollars in 1995 to 12.3 million US dollars in 2021.

However, Romania’s exports to Tanzania decreased to 1.45 million US dollars in 2022, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

Exports of mineral fuels, oils and distillation products to Tanzania accounted for around 316,350 US dollars in 2022.

President Iohannis’s visit signals a renewed commitment to rejuvenate Romania’s relations with the continent, aligning with broader efforts to revitalise EU-Africa relations.

The trip, the first political-diplomatic approach at this level in the last 30 years, aims to relaunch Romania’s relations with the African continent, both directly and as part of the joint effort at the European level, according to the official announcement.

“These visits aim to relaunch the high-level political dialogue with the mentioned states and revitalise economic and sectoral relations, aiming to open and capitalise on new opportunities for collaboration in areas of common interest, including those regarding the management of global challenges,” the Presidential Administration said last week.

Romania recently adopted the National Strategy for Africa, through which it aims to revive and enhance relations with this area “in accordance with Romania’s interests and the growing importance of Africa on the international level.”

Recognising Africa’s key role in shaping global trends in the 21st century, the strategy aims to rebuild Romania’s relations with Africa, capitalising on the existing potential for cooperation and exploring unexplored areas, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said.

During the Communist era, Romania had good political and economic relations with African countries.

However, this relationship has diminished over time, particularly due to generational changes, according to the document.

Bucharest’s objectives include cooperation with African states in education, peace and security, economic cooperation, and agriculture.

It also focuses on untapped sectors with significant growth potential, such as digitisation, and sharing experiences in areas of mutual interest, such as climate and environmental protection, civil protection, phytosanitary and food safety regulations, and cybersecurity.

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