A JOINT Business Council (JBC) between Tanzania and Oman has been launched paving the way for the flow of investments as the Gulf country looks ahead to invest in gas, oil and fertiliser plant in the country.
Tanzanian Ambassador in Oman, Mr Ali Ahmed Saleh, told reporters that a new page of cooperation has been opened as a result of the state visit made by President Jakaya Kikwete to Oman last year.
A delegation of members of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industries (OCCI) is in the country and is hosted by the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA) together forming JBC.
In response to the talks between President Kikwete and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Ambassador said new business ventures have been forged that will see Oman also introducing investments particularly in agriculture, fishing, beef industries and technology.
"The coming of Oman business delegates is important for Tanzania since it will open up new business ties, particularly in the agricultural sector as the country has expressed desire to put up a fertiliser plant in Mtwara," he said.
Officiating at the launch of the JBC, the Minister of Trade and Industries, Dr Abdallah Kigoda said Tanzania stands to benefit from Oman which is advanced in value addition of its products and industrial technology.
He said it was not encouraging for Tanzania to continue depending on its revenue generation on exports of raw commodities, unprocessed or semi-processed, meaning the country continues to remain suppliers of raw materials and a market of manufactured goods from the developed and emerging economies.
"Given the structural shift on the way how international trade works now due to globalisation, redefining our business collaboration with Oman is of utmost urgency," he stressed.
According to Dr Kigoda, the volume of trade between Tanzania and Oman has not grown much for a number of reasons, that has seen Tanzania exporting to Oman goods worth 6.3 million US Dollars (about 10bn/-) only for the past three years, while Oman imported goods worth 191 million US Dollars (305bn/-) in the same period.
The minister said Tanzania should be ready to gain from Oman which has made significant strides in the industrial sector notably in areas of production of chemicals, plastics, aluminium, steel, packaging and fertiliser let alone its development in gas and oil.
He expressed optimism that time has come for the two countries to translate the existing relationship into increased trade and investments.
Dr Kigoda challenged JBC to collaborate with the Oman based Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Development (PAIPED), Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE) for networking and information on how the two countries' business ventures can be developed.
TCCIA President, Eng. Peter Chisawillo, said the new business partnership between Tanzania and Oman should be encouraged for mutual economic benefits and long time brotherly relationship.
An expert from TIC, Mr Martin Masalu, made a presentation on the business potentials found in Tanzania, including various incentives offered to foreign investors.