Burundi: Dar - Bujumbura for Improved Trade Balance

RESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed the need for Tanzania and Burundi to make good use of available opportunities to improve trade balance between the two countries.

She made the remarks on Friday during a state banquet held at the Dodoma's Chamwino State House in honour of the Burundian top leader.

According to her, the balance of trade between the two countries had recorded a significant growth between 2015 and 2019, before it was affected by the global pandemic, Covid-19.

"In 2019, trade volume was recorded at 200bn/-, up from 85bn/- attained in 2015, the figures declined in 2020 as a result of Covid-19," she said.

She added that Tanzania's export to Burundi dropped to 35.6bn in 2020 from 81.7bn of 2015, whereas Burundi's import was at 688m/-, down from 2.1bn/-.

Due to this, President Samia suggested the use of the available economic opportunities to improve the trade volume for the greater interest of the economies of the two countries.

In a bid to improve business and interaction, President Samia said Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) has resumed its flights to Burundi, calling on citizens of the two countries to make better use of the opportunity.

"ATCL will be flying three times a week to Burundi in a bid to stimulate movement of people as well as trade between citizens of our countries,". "Currently, Tanzania has a total of 17 Tanzanian companies that have invested in Burundi," she noted, adding that there are 12 Burundian companies operating in Tanzania.

According to her, the Burundian companies operating in the country have invested a total of 442.6bn/- created 6,601 employment opportunities for Tanzanians.

President Samia also reiterated Tanzania's commitment to continue defending the interest of Burundi in the regional and international integrations.

According to president Samia, Tanzania remains a true friend and a relative who wants to see that the great lakes region is calm, secure and with peace and security.

"Also, the Tanzanian government joins our Burundian counterparts to condemn terrorist attacks that occurred on September 18 and 20 which caused six deaths and over 50 injuries as well as destruction of properties," she said, For his part, the Burundian President said his visit aims at cementing further the existing bilateral ties that the two nations have been enjoying for years.

He also acknowledged the support that Tanzanians have been providing to Burundi, especially when the latter was in political unrest.

"Our two nations have been enjoying a cordial relationship for many years, these ties have to be maintained for the greater interest of our two nations," he said.

He said Burundi was fully determined to promote its economic and diplomatic ties with members of the international community with a focus of enhancing peace, security and stability.

During their talks, the two leaders also agreed to bolster bilateral ties in several key sectors, among them infrastructure, trade and investment, agriculture, mining, health, communications and security.

The Burundian Head of State, who is concluding his tour in Tanzanian today, arrived in the country for a three-day state visit on Friday.

The visit is a replication of President Samia's two-day visit she made in Burundi on July 16 and 17, 2021.

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