TANZANIA and the Sultanate of Oman over the weekend reaffirmed their bold determination to broaden and strengthen bilateral co-operation that had been in existence for many years.
Officials of the two countries noted that Tanzania and Oman have been engaged in various forms of cultural, social and trade co-operation since the 1700s.
At one time Zanzibar was the main palace of the Sultanate. However, the trends in bilateral co-operation show that trade between Oman and Tanzania is of late dwindling and more effort is needed to rectify the situation.
Opening the First session of the Tanzania - Oman Joint Permanent Commission of Co-operation in Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Mr Bernard Membe, rightly said that there are many areas for co-operation.
The minister presented a long catalogue of potential areas for co-operation which included housing, water supply, education, harbours, agriculture, livestock development, fisheries, infrastructure, health, natural resources, tourism, trade, industry, energy and minerals.
The minister, as a single example, mentioned the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed in 2010 that led to increased flights of Omani Air Services to Tanzania, where it is now daily. It is hoped that agreements and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last year, will be implemented for mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
Oman is also more experienced in many fields such as harbours, fisheries, mining, infrastructure development, oil and gas, where Tanzania has a lot to learn as well as working together in beneficial exploitation of the resources.
Tanzanian leaders have repeatedly declared to Omani authorities that the doors are wide open for serious investors from the Arabian nation, which is currently diversifying its economy from overdependence on oil and natural gas.
Since the slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas including industry and tourism. Tanzania boasts to be among the world's top tourists' paradise and Oman can have a reliable partner.