Interview: Tanzania-China relations become stronger
DAR ES SALAAM, March 25 (Xinhua) -- A senior Tanzanian official on Tuesday expressed appreciation of China for its continued bilateral relations in social and economic development that have stepped onto a new level.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, John Haule, said in 2013 the bilateral trade volume reached 3.7 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 49 percent over the previous year.
Reviewing the bilateral relations one year after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania as his first stop in Africa, Haule said by the end of 2013, China had become the second largest foreign investor in Tanzania with the total foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching 2.5 billion dollars.
"There are 500 Chinese companies in Tanzania, creating more than 150,000 local job opportunities," Haule told a news conference in Dar es Salaam ahead of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tanzania and China to be marked later this year.
Projects being undertaken by Chinese companies in Tanzania include the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas pipeline construction, the Shinyanga agricultural industrial park, the Bagamoyo port, Tanzania coal steel power generation and fiber optic backbone network project, among others.
During the period under review, the number of Chinese tourists and business people who visited Tanzania went up from 10,790 in 2013 to 11,555 in 2014, while the number of Tanzanians visiting China grew from 7,657 in 2013 to 8,114 in 2014, said Haule.
The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Lu Youqing, said the visit to Tanzania by President Xi in Match 2013 showed China's new leadership attached great importance to the development of China- Tanzania and China-Africa relationship.
"It is foreseeable that, with development advantages like excellent location, abundant energy resources, stable political environment, sustainable economic, a strong diplomatic charm, Tanzania will further draw the attention of the international community, and strengthen influence and status in international and regional arena," said the Chinese envoy.