TANZANIA and China have inked five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) that will go a long way towards expanding trade opportunities, training and issues related to science and technology.
The agreements were signed in Beijing between the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, shortly after the two met for official talks.
The MoUs include that of collaboration in matters of science and technology, that of allowing marine products from Tanzania to be sold in China and collaboration in tourism matters.
Others include establishment of textile industry zone, improving cotton production and contract to provide plots for the construction of the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Premier Pinda, who was on the second day of nine-day official visit of China following an invitation by the Chinese government, told his counterpart that Tanzania was thankful for generosity that China has shown to his country.
"We thank the Chinese government for the soft loans that they have been extending to us, compared to loans that we get from other countries which cost us a lot," Mr Pinda said in a press briefing. He said that during talks, emphasis were on investment on agricultural activities, energy, education and infrastructure especially railway, harbour and ICT.
On agriculture, Mr Pinda emphasised on the importance of getting huge market for tobacco products in China and the need for investors in cashew nut processing factories in Southern Tanzania.
"In my visit, I am emphasising on investment in cashew nuts...I will talk to responsible officers to see on how we can give priority to this crop, which has a huge market here in China," he said.
In another development, Mr Pinda explained to his Chinese counterpart on the government's intention to pay 24.6 million US Dollars, which was spent in retrieving Urafiki Textile Mills in Dar es Salaam. "We have promised to start repaying the loan in the financial year 2014/2015.
The minister for finance has already written to China since September, this year, explaining the intention in question," Mr Pinda said. Today, Mr Pinda is expected to launch 10-day training for 20 officers from various public institutions in Tanzania.
The training is being conducted by the Leadership College of China and Uongozi Institute. He will also tour an aluminium industry in Beijing, meet tobacco board, China electricity companies - China Power Investment (CPI) and State Grid Corporation and oil companies. In the evening, he will meet the Tanzanian Diaspora at the Tanzanian Embassy.