Tanzania rolled out a red carpet to India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who arrived in Dar es Salaam on Saturday night in his five-day, four-nation tour of Africa to drum up business between India and African countries.
The visit by the Indian leader is expected to provide a massive boost to Tanzania's industrialization strategy as the two countries agreed to deepen diplomatic and economic ties in agriculture, food security, trade, natural gas and other vital sectors.
President John Magufuli and the Indian leader agreed to deepen their partnership in agriculture and food security, and work together in the development and use of natural gas as New Delhi committed more aid to Tanzania's water supply projects.
President Magufuli told reporters at a joint press conference he had asked the Indian leader to invest in motor vehicle and motorcycles assembling plants in Tanzania to expand footprint in the Japan dominated East Africa's car market.
He said he told the Indian leader that Tanzania was a big market for India's vehicles and motorcycles and was an ideal investment destination for motor vehicle assembling plant to capture the East African and Southern African regional markets.
It was announced in Parliament last May that Tata Group, India's multinational conglomerate is planning to set up a car assembling plant in Tanzania.
Presenting budget estimates of his ministry for the 2016/2017 financial year, the Minister for Industry Trade and Investments, Charles Mwijage said Tata Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of India's multinational conglomerate, was discussion with National Development Corporation for land lease at TAMCO industrial area in Kibaha Coast Region so set up a car assembly plant. Tata Motors has already have strong presence across Tanzania and is among dominant player in the commercial vehicles range.
It has emerged as a major supplier of vehicles to the booming construction market, including tippers and concrete mixers. It is expected that a local assembly plant will give the Indian company a price advantage that will lift their market share in the commercial trucks market.
The Indian conglomerate, which gets 2.3 per cent of its revenue from Africa, aims to grow its business in the continent by 30 per cent a year by increasing its presence in automotive, mining, infrastructure and hospitality sectors, according to available information.
President Magufuli also said he had asked for investment in pharmaceutical factories for malaria, Heart and kidney diseases and antiobiotics from India investors to help Tanzania reduce costs of importing drugs and other medical supplies from India. India is major source of imports of medical supplies to Tanzania.
"We agreed that our common desire of economic prosperity for our societies is creating new opportunities for expanding our cooperation," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint press statement with President Magufuli.
"For this, both of us felt that we need to: One, deepen our partnership in agriculture and food security, including through enhanced export of pulses from Tanzania to India; two, work together in development and use of natural gas; three, partner in building of industrial economy, capacities and institutions in Tanzania; and four, deepen our trade and investment partner ship by encouraging greater industry-to-industry ties," the Indian leader said.
President Magufuli and I agreed to deepen India- Tanzania ties in agriculture, food security, trade, natural gas & other vital sectors," the Indian leader said. "We agreed that our common desire of economic prosperity for our societies is creating new opportunities for expanding our cooperation," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint press statement with Tanzanian President John Magufuli following delegation-level talks here.
"For this, both of us felt that we need to: One, deepen our partnership in agriculture and food security, including through enhanced export of pulses from Tanzania to India; two, work together in development and use of natural gas; three, partner in building of industrial economy, capacities and institutions in Tanzania; and four, deepen our trade and investment partnership by encouraging greater industry-to-industry ties," Modi said.
The partnership in the area of natural gas development and use is significant as Tanzania has been emerging as a gas giant with a series of finds since 2011. Modi said that India was already a substantial economic partner of Tanzania and the whole range of economic ties were healthy and on the upswing.
"Our two-way annual trade stands at around $3 billion (Dh11 billion), Indian investments in Tanzania already total around $3 billion and Indian businesses in Tanzania continue to grow and expand," he said.
Modi described as a "good achievement" completion of a water supply augmentation project in Dar-es-Salaam with the Indian aid of US$I00 million. "We have just now also signed an agreement on water supply project in Zanzibar for a line of credit of $92 million," the Prime Minister said.
"We are also working on a number of other water projects for 17 cities. And for this, India is willing to consider an additional $500 million line of concessional credit." India and Tanzania signed five agreements after the delegation-level talks, including two on water supply and water resource management. Modi flagged public health as another important priority in India's engagement with Tanzania.
"We are ready to meet the health-care priorities of the Tanzanian government including supply of medicines and equipment," he said, adding an Indian radiotherapy machine was being installed at Bugando Medical Centre in the country's Mwanza city to treat cancer patients.
The Prime Minister said education, vocational training and skill development were other areas of priority in which India was willing to offer all assistance. "Being neighbours across Indian Ocean, [the] President and I agreed to deepen our overall defence and security partnership, especially in the maritime domain," Modi said.
"Our in-depth discussions on regional and global issues reflected our considerable convergence on issues of common interest and concern." Modi said both sides agreed to work closely, bilaterally, regionally and globally, to combat the twin threats of terrorism and climate change, and described Tanzania as a "crucial partner" in the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.
Later, he interacted with a group of 30 African Solar Mamas, rural women who have been trained in harnessing solar energy under the Indian government's programmes.
The Prime Minister also met members of the Indian community, which numbers around 50,000 in Tanzania. After completing his engagements in Tanzania, Modi left for Kenya on the fourth and last leg of his four-nation African tour.