Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Dar, London to Strengthen Ties

TRADE, investment and Transparency Partnerships on Land and Extractive Industries, were among issues expected to feature prominently during yesterday's talks between President Jakaya Kikwete and the British Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, who arrived in Dar es Salaam on Friday for a brief visit.

A statement issued by the UK High Commission in Tanzania on Friday said Mr Simmonds' visit focuses on the potential for further co-operation on prosperity issues, including improving the environment for business.

"The UK's ambition is to increase trade and investment, support Tanzania's development and generate prosperity and employment for both Tanzania and the UK. Discussions will also focus on the two G8-Tanzania Transparency Partnerships on Land and the Extractive Industries which President Kikwete signed in London in June.

Tanzania was the only country to sign two partnerships under the UK's G8 Presidency," read the statement in part. The statement noted that the visit is a recognition of the strategic importance the UK attaches to further deepening its excellent bilateral relations with Tanzania - the UK is already the largest investor and second bilateral donor.

Mr Simmonds' visit follows the UK's Secretary of State for International Development's visit to Tanzania in June and Mr Simmonds' last visit in March.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Simmonds said: "The UK sees Tanzania as one of its key partners in Africa and I am pleased to be returning so soon after my last visit. I look forward to pursuing my dialogue with President Kikwete on the two G8-Tanzania Transparency Partnerships on Land and the Extractive Industries and to discussing a range of regional issues of mutual concern.

"My ambition is to help boost trade and investment between our two countries, for the UK to support Tanzania's development and for our partnership to generate prosperity and employment for both Tanzania and the UK. I hope to have a range of discussions which will look at practical ways in which we can deepen our economic partnership in specific sectors, and ways in which we can help improve the business environment."

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