Open up, India Ready to Invest PM Modi urges Tanzanian President Kikwete

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The Tanzanian president sought more investment from India and assured full assistance and security to the investors

Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete visited India from June 17-21, 2015. He is the first African head of state to visit India since the BJP-led NDA government assumed office following a landslide victory in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ‘comprehensive and productive’ discussion with President Kikwete.

India offered its expertise to Tanzania in development of its potentially rich natural gas sector, and decided to extend e-tourist visa to people of the African nation. The two countries signed eight MoUs to expand engagements in diverse areas.

The MoUs signed included a loan agreement between Exim Bank and Tanzanian government on a line of credit for $268.35 million for extension of a pipeline project and cooperation in the field of hydrology, tourism and agriculture.

“Terrorism in our respective regions is a concern for both countries. We have agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to strengthen our cooperation in counter terrorism,” PM Modi said during a joint media interaction with President Kikwete.

Thanking India for its continued assistance to his country, the Tanzanian president said both the nations have decided to take the relationship to the next level.

Calling India a deserving nation for permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council, President Kikwete said his country will continue to work with other African countries to back New Delhi’s candidature.

“We are ready to expand cooperation in counter-terrorism and maritime security,” he said.

The Tanzanian president sought more investment from India and assured full assistance and security to the investors.

Holding that there is huge scope to expand trade cooperation, PM Modi urged the Tanzanian president to open up more sectors for investments, saying Indian investors are ready to invest more in that country.

“Our trade of over $4 billion is heavily in India’s favour. I urged President Kikwete to open up more sectors for investments and exports,” he said.

India is the largest trading partner of Tanzania in Africa with bilateral trade in 2013-14 being more than $4 billion.

Apart from trade relations, India is also the important destination for Tanzanians seeking high-quality health care and education.

Indians form the largest expatriate community in Tanzania and they contribute in the progress and development of their host country.

There are over 50,000 to 60,000 people of Indian origin living and working in Tanzania, besides approximately 10,000 Indian expatriates.

“President Kikwete’s vision and leadership over the past decade have advanced political stability and economic growth in Tanzania. He has worked for a future of peace and cooperation in Africa. And, we deeply value his strong commitment to relations with India,” PM Modi said.

The Indian prime minister ‘greatly’ thanked Tanzania for its support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. “We have an emotional bond of a shared history of struggle against colonialism. We have spoken in one voice for a life of equality and dignity for all people. We have been partners in the cause of deeper cooperation among developing countries and a greater voice for them in international forums,” PM Modi said.

Other areas of cooperation include maritime sector, ocean economy, human resources, healthcare, agriculture, institutions and infrastructure in Tanzania.

“We have shared aspirations for inclusive economic development. We have a common interest in maritime security in the Indian Ocean and a peaceful and prosperous Africa. Terrorism in our respective regions is a concern for both countries,” Modi said.

The prime minister assured President Kikwete that India’s development partnership with its Indian Ocean neighbour will continue to grow. “Tanzania is an important part of India-Africa partnership,” he said.

India-Africa Forum Summit is due in October 2015, where leaders of 54 African countries have been invited by the Narendra Modi-led government.

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