TANZANIA ought to take advantage of existing bilateral relations with Turkey, to double trading activities among the two countries.
The Minister for Industries and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, said in Dares Salaam that the growing volume of trade between the two countries has increased exorbitantly from 12.3 million US dollars in 2005 to 196 million US dollars last year, thanks to the Trade Agreements signed in 2010.
The Minister was speaking shortly after opening the Turkish International Trade Fair which will run for three days at the Julius Nyerere International Fair grounds in the city.
"The strong bond of friendship is founded on solid principles of mutual respect laid down by the leaders of the two nations. Indeed the existing friendship is being translated into increased bilateral trade and economic cooperation," he said.
He said Tanzania will keep on being preferable destination of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and to maintain that, continuous improvements leading to creation of enabling business environment has been made.
He mentioned some of them as high degree of investment security because of unparallel political stability, democratic rule that respect diversity of opinion and strong tradition of constitutional and rule of law and business friendly macro-economic stability.
He invited the Turkish to come and invest in the country where lucrative investment opportunities in agro processing, value addition, trade, mining, tourism, infrastructure and agriculture. "I therefore take this opportunity to invite the Turkish private sector to invest in Tanzania for the mutual benefit of the two countries," he said.
He appreciated the commitment of Turkish Companies participating in the Trade Fair and implored them to continue participating in the future exhibitions. Speaking at the event, the Turkish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Mr Mehmet Mehd Eker said he was confident the bilateral cooperation with Tanzania will be strengthened even further.
He emphasized on the need to keep on forging new trade relationships that will reach a t least 500 million US dollars in the next two years.
Meanwhile Dr Kigoda has said poor packaging technology was holding back Tanzania's efforts to penetrate international markets. He told the participants at a seminar on Packaging Technology prepared by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) that his Ministry would strive hard to make sure the Tanzania Packaging Centre (TPC) takes off as soon as possible.
The centre which is housed at TBS premises was completed in 2009 but has failed to commence operations due to lack of some crucial equipment particularly the packaging materials testing equipment and retail packing materials.
Dr Kigoda however, said the government will soon receive the missing materials from the European Development Fund and also promised for the government to keep on supporting it financially to enable it take off fully.