Tanzanian PM’s visit opens up chances for bilateral ties

Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania Mizengo Peter Pinda began a three-day official visit to Vietnam on March 29 as a guest of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The visit, the first to Vietnam by Pinda since he took up his position as Prime Minister of Tanzania in 2008, takes place at a time when the two nations are celebrating 45 years of diplomatic ties.

It aims to promote economic, trade and investment relations, especially in agriculture and farm produce processing, between Vietnam and Tanzania.

Vietnam and Tanzania established diplomatic ties on February 14, 1965. During Vietnam ’s resistance war against US aggressors, Tanzania gave support, both materially and spiritually, to Vietnam and considered it as an example for oppressed nations, especially those in Africa .

The two countries have already signed a number of agreements and deals covering bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology. They also set up an inter-governmental committee.

Tanzania wants to step up its cooperative ties with Vietnam in the field of agriculture and is willing to zone off a large area for joint projects. It has asked Vietnam to send experts to Tanzania to help with agricultural and irrigation development.

Two-way trade remains modest, reaching US$30 million in 2007, with US$18.3 million coming from Vietnamese exports. Vietnam mainly exports rice to Tanzania and imports cotton, wood, garment materials and leather products from the African country.

Tanzania ’s economy has grown steadily in recent years, posting a growth rate of 4.5 percent in 2009 despite adverse impacts of the world economic downturn. Its export revenues surged to US$2.74 billion last year from US$2.1 billion in 2007.

As a member of the Organisation of African Unity (OUA), the United Nations and the Non-Alliance Movement (NAM), Tanzania has played an important role in maintaining solidarity in Africa and promoting South-South cooperation.

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