Dar es Salaam. Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Chen Mingjian has said she is optimistic that China will remain Tanzania’s largest and most significant trading partner thanks to the successful implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.
Last year, Sino-Tanzania trade volumes topped $8.31 billion, and in the first nine months of this year, the trade value has already reached $6.37 billion, Ms Chen said at a press conference on Thursday, October 26, 2023, as she briefed reporters on the recently concluded third BRI forum.
The Tanzanian delegation at the third BRI forum for international cooperation was led by Dr Natu El-Maamry Mwamba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.
Ms Chen informed reporters that China has approved Tanzania’s quality exports of agricultural products, including avocados and wild aquatic products, which have contributed to the rapid increase in trade volumes between the two countries.
The Chinese envoy said that 98 percent of Tanzania’s taxable items exported to China enjoy zero-tariff treatment.
Meanwhile, China’s investment in Tanzania will have achieved remarkable results by the end of 2022.
Ms Chen noted that China’s investment grew 2.5 times in the past 10 years or so.
She cited some of the recent Chinese investments in the country, such as Keda Ceramics, Maweni Limestone Limited, and Sapphire Float Glass Factory, with investments exceeding $100 million.
“China has also promoted personnel exchange and further consolidated the foundation for popular support and public opinion, especially in the field of people-to-people exchange,” she noted.
The envoy said that during the BRI forum, 458 outcomes have been reached, including important cooperation initiatives and institutional arrangements such as the Beijing Initiative for Belt and Road Green Development.
Others are the Beijing Initiative on the Belt and Road International Digital Economy Cooperation.
They also include specific targets, including providing 100,000 training opportunities on green development for partner countries by 2030 and increasing the number of joint laboratories to 100.
Commercial agreements worth $97.2 billion were concluded at the CEO conference.
On infrastructure, Ms Chen noted that the Tanzanian and Zambian governments are seeking ways to transform Tazara from a ‘Friendship Railway’ to a ‘development railway’.
She stated that partner countries are optimistic that the Friendship Railway will evolve in the future, gaining momentum as a pivotal regional transport corridor and a catalyst for development.
At the forum, Tanzania highlighted the enduring commitment of both China and Tanzania to their Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) collaboration.
They emphasised the synergy between the BRI and Tanzania’s development vision for 2025, underscoring how this alignment is providing significant momentum to bolster bilateral relations, trade, and economic cooperation.