He was speaking in Dar es Salaam on Sunday when briefing journalists on the expected official visit of Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang in the country, which starts today.
The minister said that during his talks with Wanni Igga, South Sudan’s Second Vice President during the recent EAC Heads of State Summit in Arusha, the senior government official promised to strengthen business relations with Tanzania on various sectors, including agriculture.
Dr Mahiga said the government planned to organise an official trip to South Sudan by a delegation of members of the business community from Tanzania to carry out an assessment of various investment opportunities.
He said apart from business relations, South Sudan also plans to establish closer relations with Tanzania in the education sector. He said S. Sudan would in future send its students to the country’s public colleges and universities.
According to Dr Mahiga, despite Tanzania signing a lot of business and investment contracts, their implementation always proved to be a problem compared to Kenya and Uganda.
Last week, EAC Heads of State decided to welcome South Sudan into the bloc, with Somalia failing to make the cut.
Announcing the decision, host president John Magufuli said it was based on intensive deliberations by the EAC Council of Ministers which had a week-long closed-door meeting on the subject.
It came hot on the heels of a recent United Nations report which suggested that the Security Council had placed an arms embargo on South Sudan, while the country’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar were set to be sanctioned over atrocities jointly committed during a two-year civil war.
The political dispute between Kiir and his rival Machar, the latter who was once the deputy president, sparked civil war which has so far claimed more than 10,000 lives and reopened ethnic fault lines between Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer tribes.
James Wanni Igga, South Sudan’s Second Vice President, said his country had applied for admission to EAC immediately after gaining its independence in 2011.