Dar es Salaam: The government has signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in a bid to improve trade and investment between the to countries. The signing of the MoU was one of the outcomes of the Tanzania-Zhejiang Business Forum held in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.
The two parties said the agreement seeks to improve business and investment relationship between Tanzania and China’s Zhejiang Province for the mutual benefit of both sides.
Tanzania will much depend on the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) for facilitation of the investment deals.
About 80 Zhejiang Province business persons attended the forum. So far, more 20 companies from the Chinese province have invested in Tanzania while about six Tanzanian companies have their investment in Zhejiang Province.
The TIC acting executive director, Mr Raymond Mbilinyi, said the agreement would greatly improve business and investment relationship between Tanzania and Zhejiang Province. “The agreement is very important as it encourages investments for the mutual benefit of the two parts,” he told journalists.
He said the agreements include the construction of a state of the art platform logistic centre at Kurasini in Dar es Salaam, which will be the regional business hub serving Tanzania and neighbouring countries.
According to Mr Mbilinyi, a delegation from Zhejiang Province will participate in this year’s International Trade Fair in the country while business delegation from Tanzania will visit the province later this year.
Also among the agreed issues was the acquisition of Urafiki Textile Mills by an investor from the Province who will control 51 per cent shares. More details of the deal will be known later.
“I wish to strongly call upon the business community from Zhejiang to seriously consider investing in Tanzania,” the minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Investment and Empowerment, Dr Mary Nagu, said during the event.
In a speech read on her behalf by the minister for Transport, Mr Omari Nundu, Dr Nagu reassured Chinese business community that Tanzania is an attractive and ideal investment destination in whatever interests them and that numerous investment opportunities will prove to be mutually beneficial to economies of both countries.
Emphasizing the importance of enhancing greater economic ties between Tanzania and China, the minister said currently, business cooperation between the two countries is gaining momentum with China being one of the top-ten countries that have invested in Tanzania. Explaining further, she said that between 1990 and 2011, TIC registered investments with Chinese interest worth $868 million in various sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, construction, services and trade.
“The flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from China was still very minimal,” she said, while calling upon the forum to discuss the mechanisms for boosting Tanzania’s share in the Chinese concessionary funds such as the China-Africa Development Fund and find a way of accessing such funds.
Dr Nagu noted that in it efforts to attract more investments, the government is committed to play the role of a facilitator for the private sector to effectively function as the engine of economic growth. The minister thanked the vice governor of Zhejiang Province and the members of the delegation for choosing Tanzania as one of the few African countries to visit and explore investment opportunities.
The Zhejiang Province vice governor, Dr Gong Zheng, said Zhejiang-Tanzanian trade and investment maintained great momentum and both sides have witnessed the economic complementarities and great trade potential. He said Zhejiang CCPIT has been committed to promoting the business exchanges between Zhejiang Province and the rest of the world.
* Zhejiang is located in the Southern wing of the Yangtze River Delta regions on the south-eastern coast of China, bordering Shanghai, the country’s largest city, in the north. It has long been known for its flourishing economy with regional characteristics.