Tanzania: Forging New Deal for Tz, SA

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan day arrived in Pretoria, South Africa for a two-day State visit at the invitation of South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The State visit will crown the second session of the South Africa-Tanzania Bi-National Commission (BNC).

The commission comprises four committees -Political and Diplomatic; Defence and Security; Economic Affairs, and Social and Cultural Affairs.

The Commission is a platform for strengthening cooperation, especially in areas such as trade and investment, infrastructure, transport, energy, water, science and innovation, education, defence, agriculture, environment, health and culture, among others.

According to the latest data, Tanzania and South Africa's bilateral trade has developed rapidly with the former's exports to the latter reaching 971 million US dollars (equivalent to 2.25tri/-).

The country's economic diplomacy with backups from the offices of the High Commissioner in South Africa in collaboration with authorities saw Tanzania's exports soaring from 700 million US dollars (1.6tri/) in 2017 to 2.25tri/- in 2021.

Tanzania's High Commissioner to South Africa, Maj Gen (Rtd) Gaudence Milanzi told the 'Daily News' recently that the High Commission was extensively searching for new market opportunities for Tanzanian products, being a strategy of addressing trade imbalances between the two Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries.

Tanzania's major exports to South Africa are coffee, tea, gold, tobacco, cotton, cocoa, cashew nuts and beans. The strong economic ties are evidenced by the presence of more than 250 South African companies in diverse sectors in Tanzania.

The programme of the Heads of State and Government has been preceded by meetings of senior officials on Monday and Tuesday and the Ministerial Bi-National Commission on the Senior Officials yesterday.

These engagements took place at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's OR Tambo headquarters in Pretoria.

On the margins of the State visit and the BNC, a Business Forum will take place under the theme 'Forging a New Deal between South Africa and Tanzania Towards High Levels of Trade and Investment'.

The forum will focus on agriculture, agro-processing, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure development.

President Ramaphosa and President Samia will address a plenary session of the Business Forum today afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tanzania and South Africa pledged to enhance the cordial relations by opening new areas of cooperation.

This was agreed during the opening of a senior official's session of the Tanzania- South Africa BNC held in Pretoria, South Africa on 13 - 14 March this year.

The new areas of cooperation agreed by the two countries included the financial and economic sectors, agriculture, mining, water, tourism, politics and diplomacy, communication and transport, information technology, economy, energy, education, industry, trade and investment, construction, tourism, agriculture, fishing, health, education and culture.

Speaking during the opening of the BNC on Monday, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and the leader of the Tanzanian delegation at the meeting, at the level of Senior Officials, Ambassador Fatma Rajab said that the meeting provides an opportunity to review the implementation of the areas of cooperation agreed in the first session and establishing strong strategies to move forward.

She also stated that the meeting was significant because the two countries' cooperation has been built on solid foundations since the apartheid era, and thus BNC is a catalyst for strengthening and accelerating economic and social cooperation in the areas that will be agreed upon.

Mr Zane Dangor, Secretary General of South Africa's Department of International Cooperation and co-Chairman of the meeting, explained that the BNC provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation, particularly in trade and investment matters.

"Our role is to strengthen cooperation in areas of great interest to our nations and to open doors to new areas of cooperation," Mr Dangor explained.

According to Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), about 223 South African companies have invested in Tanzania with a capital amounting to 806.05 million US dollars (equivalent to 1.9tri/-) between 1997 to August 2022.

The investments of SA's companies in Tanzania have generated over 21,000 employment opportunities for locals.

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