Dar es Salaam — Tanzania and Zimbabwe have agreed to cement further the cooperation on economic issues focus being on improving trade, investment and tourism sector.
Shortly after President John Magufuli held talks with the Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa who is in the country for a two day state visit, Mnangagwa said that Zimbabweans are thankful for Tanzania's continued stand to support his country even at time when it was sanctioned by the big powers. Mnangagwa arrived on Thursday and is visiting the country for the first time since he took power through a military takeover in November 2017.
He has so far visited Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. His visit comes just hardly a week after he survived a blast at a ruling ZANU-PF party rally in Bulawayo.
According to him, they are looking for engagement and re engagement with more friends who can trade and enjoy the common goals with Zimbabwe.
"Tanzania remained to be our good friend of all time and are my hopes that this agenda will be maintained in the regional groups we subscribe such as UN, AU and SADC," he said.
Speaking about the previous regime, President Mnangagwa said "The past has gone, there were good and bad lessons. We have to carry forward those good things.
On his side, President Magufuli said there is a need to boost trade between the two countries, saying it was a way forward to stimulate other development projects.
"In 2017, trade volume between the two countries was recorded at Sh21.1 billion up from Sh18.3 billion of 2016, the amount isn't sufficient therefore, therefore we need to take efforts to have it shine," said Dr Magufuli.
On investments, President Magufuli said Zimbabwe has 25 companies operating in Tanzania worth of $32 million and went on to invite further investments given that the country has more than 44 million hectors of arable land.
He therefore said the two governments would soon revive the joint permanent commission that was formed in early of 1980's.
"We have also seen the importance of improving the tourism sector given that we all have tourists attraction, so we shall have a joint package to market our tourism sites," added further.
Other areas that that the Heads of State discussed were taking further the cooperation on health, security, tradition, education and sports sector.
Dr Magufuli went on to explain that the ties wouldn't abandon the political relationship saying they would continue carrying the agenda via the regional groups that the two countries are subscribing.
Our national interests must also be maintained in the United Nations (UN) African Union (AU) and Sadc Summits given the historical backgrounds we have especially on the liberation struggles for independence.
For his part, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is now open for investment and trade with all countries focus being to revive the economy and improve social service delivery.
He acknowledged the role that Tanzania has played in the independence struggles, insisting that the cooperation must be cherished.
"The Dar es Salaam is seeing today is totally different with that I had visited in the past, real development on infrastructures could be seen, we want the same to be installed in the new Zimbabwe," said Mr Mnangagwa