Zanzibar — President Ali Mohamed Shein yesterday opened a one-day Comoros and Tanzania trade forum here with a call on stakeholders to use the available opportunities to invest and make sure that the businesses grow. "Tanzania, particularly Zanzibar, has many things in common. We share culture and language.
It is the sea and colonial oriented political boundaries that divided us. Doors are open to revive our history of cooperation in various development programmes," Dr Shein said. Before declaring the forum open, Dr Shein said the historical Comoros and Tanzania relations has been going on well and that traders from both countries have the opportunity to flourish.
He said in the 16th and 17th centuries, Zanzibar was a famous place for trade followed later by then British Protectorate declaring the islands 'Free Port', "since History repeats itself, let us increase trade and make it sustainable.
" President Shein said the United Republic of Tanzania is ready to work with the Comoros and that already the business environment in the country is conducive for trade, and investment in Tourism, culture, transportation, and health among others.
He told participants who met at the Sea Cliff Hotel, North of Unguja Island that Zanzibar's new passenger/cargo ship (MV Mapinduzi II), and the purchased planes in ongoing revival of Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ATCL), are other opportunities to boost trade. Delegates from Comoros led by their foreign Minister Mr Mohamed Bacar Dossar, and the wife of Comoros Vice President Ms NourouL'Houda Said Mohamed, heard Dr Shein agitate for promotion of the use of Kiswahili language, and Public Private Partnership (PPP), arguing that the private sector remains an engine of economic growth.
Also in attendance at the opening ceremony were leaders of the Chamber of Commerce (from Comoros, Zanzibar, and Mainland Tanzania), delegates from Egypt, ministers, Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi and Tanzania Foreign Minister Dr Augustino Mahiga who said the forum sets ground for strengthening relations beyond trade.
The head of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Mr Octavian Mshiu and his counterpart from Zanzibar (ZNCCIA) - Mr Taufiq Salum and Comoros (UCCIA) - Mr Mouhtar I'ssouf Combo expressed their commitment to ensure the objectives are achieved.
"In the process, it is important that we focus on the way we do business by simplifying procedures and bringing in better and more innovative ideas at the same time protecting and promoting our brand," Mr Salum said.
In her introductory remarks at the event coloured with traditional dances from Zanzibar and Comoros, the Minister of Trade, Industries, and Marketing, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, said the second reciprocal trade forum for Tanzania and Comoro reflects the commitment by governments in improving people's livelihoods.
Ms Ali said the forum aims at fostering trade initiatives whose ultimate goal is to improve the business environment, formalise trade and strengthen economic ties between the United Republic of Tanzania and the Union of the Comoros.