The government, through Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Zhejiang Sub-Council, for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The agreement, which seeks to improve business and investment relations between Tanzania and China’s Zhejiang Province, was reached at the Tanzania-Zhejiang Business Forum held in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.
About 80 Zhejiang Province businesspersons attended the forum. So far, more about 20 companies from the Chinese province invest in Tanzania while about six Tanzanian companies invest in the province.
TIC acting executive director Raymond Mbilinyi said the agreement will improve business and investment relations between Tanzania and Zhejiang Province.
“The agreement is very important as it encourages investments for the mutual benefit of the two parties,” he said.
He explained that under the pact, construction of a state-of-the-art platform logistic centre at Kurasini area in Dar es Salaam would be undertaken which will help to act as a regional business hubs.
According to Mbilinyi, a delegation from Zhejiang Province will participate in this year’s Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair while a business delegation from Tanzania will visit the province later this year.
He said other agreed things in the MoU was the acquisition of Urafiki Textile Mills by an investor from the province who will now control 51 per cent of the shares, adding that more details about the deal will be known later.
Speaking at the MoU signing, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of Investment and Empowerment Dr. Mary Nagu said: “I wish to call upon the business community from Zhejiang Province to seriously consider investing in Tanzania.”
In a speech read on her behalf by Minister for Transport Omari Nundu, Dr. Nagu reassured the Chinese business community that Tanzania was an attractive and ideal investment destination in whatever interested them and that numerous investment opportunities would prove to be mutually beneficial to the economies of both countries.
Emphasizing the importance of enhancing greater economic ties between Tanzania and China, the minister said currently business cooperation between Tanzania and China was gaining momentum, with China being one of the top-ten countries that had invested in Tanzania.
She said between 1990 and 2011 TIC registered investments with Chinese interest worth USD 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 on the forum to discuss the mechanisms for boosting Tanzania’s share in the Chinese concessionary funds, such as the China-Africa Development Fund, and finding a way to access such funds.
Dr. Nagu noted that in its efforts to attract more investments, the gGovernment was committed to playing the role of a facilitator for the private sector to effectively function as the engine of economic growth.
Zhejiang Province Vice-Governor Dr. Gong Zheng said Zhejiang-Tanzanian trade and investment maintained great momentum and both sides had witnessed economic complementarities and great trade potential.
He said Zhejiang CCPIT was committed to promoting 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.