Tan­za­nia ties up with Tur­key

East African Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAMAS MAKANGALE

DAR ES SALAAM, TAN­ZA­NIA - Tur­key and Tan­za­nia have signed a to­tal of nine agree­ments in de­fense, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and health dur­ing a visit by Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan in the cap­i­tal city Dar es Salaam.

Er­doğan, ac­com­pa­nied by sev­eral Turk­ish of­fi­cials and trade rep­re­sen­ta­tives, met his Tan­za­nian coun­ter­part, John Magu­fuli at Tan­za­nia’s State House. Magu­fuli said the agree­ments would strengthen the de­vel­op­ment of both coun­tries and add value in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Er­doğan said the bi­lat­eral and in­ter-del­e­ga­tions meet­ings were “fruit­ful” for both Tur­key and Tan­za­nia. “We will fur­ther deepen our co­op­er­a­tion with the new projects in the econ­omy, trade, tourism, agri­cul­ture, rail­ways, in­dus­try and con­struc­tion, and the agree­ments we have signed clearly demon­strate our de­ter­mi­na­tion in this di­rec­tion,” Er­doğan said. Ad­dress­ing busi­ness­peo­ple of both coun­tries at a Turk­ish-tan­za­nian busi­ness fo­rum held by Tur­key’s For­eign Eco­nomic Re­la­tions Board (DEİK), Er­doğan said Ankara sought to boost in­vest­ments by con­tribut­ing to Tan­za­nia’s de­vel­op­ment. “We be­lieve that we have to in­crease our bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume, which is be­low $150 mil­lion, to higher lev­els,” he said. “We agreed dur­ing bi­lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions that we have to in­crease this goal first to $250 mil­lion and then to $500 mil­lion. The progress we have made in re­cent years shows that these fig­ures are reach­able,” he added. Magu­fuli said Turk­ish in­vestors have em­ployed more than 2,000 peo­ple in Tan­za­nia. Tan­za­nia asked for a loan from the state-owned Ex­port Credit Bank of Tur­key (Ex­im­bank) to help fi­nance a stretch of a new rail­way it hopes will help it open up East Africa’s hin­ter­land and com­pete with neigh­bor­ing Kenya as a trade hub. Tan­za­nia wants to con­struct a 2,561-kilo­me­ter stan­dard gauge rail­way con­nect­ing its main port and cap­i­tal of Dar es Salaam to land-locked neigh­bors, in­clud­ing the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC), Zam­bia, Rwanda and Uganda. Turk­ish firms are among those that have sub­mit­ted bids for the stan­dard gauge project, Reuters re­ported. Magu­fuli said he was seek­ing fi­nanc­ing for a 400-kilo­me­ter stretch of the rail­way track. “I am con­fi­dent that we will se­cure that loan,” the Tan­za­nian leader told re­porters. Tan­za­nia said in July 2016 it had se­cured a $7.6 bil­lion loan from China’s Ex­port-im­port Bank (Exim) to build part of the new rail­way net­work. Not­ing that Tan­za­nia was an agri­cul­tural coun­try like Tur­key and that there were many steps to be taken in the area, Magu­fuli said they also wanted to learn from Tur­key’s tech­nol­ogy. Er­doğan ar­rived in Tan­za­nia on Jan­uary 22 for a two-day of­fi­cial visit, which is part of a five-day African tour. He pro­ceeded to Mozam­bique on Jan­uary 24 and was sched­uled to be in Mada­gas­car on Jan­uary 25 and 26, 2017.

Tan­za­nian Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli (R) meets with his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan in Dar es Salaam, Tan­za­nia, Jan. 23, 2017. Tan­za­nia and Tur­key on Mon­day agreed to boost eco­nomic ties shortly af­ter they had signed part­ner­ship agree­ments in ed­u­ca­tion re­search, health, trans­port, de­fence and se­cu­rity. (Xin­hua/mroki)

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