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China encourages further investment in Tanzania

Chinese investment in Tanzania has increased by more than 40 percent in recent years, reaching $4 billion last year, and both countries pledge to keep trade and investment balanced, according to the Chinese embassy in Dar es Salaam.

The two countries' trade volume has increased to $4.6 billion annually, it said.

Lin Zhiyong, chief commercial representative at the Chinese embassy, said China will continue encouraging Chinese investment in the country in a bid to increase the trade volume.

"We will continue to invite our investors to come and invest in Tanzania due to the fact that there is a conducive business environment," says Lin.

He says Tanzania is a unique business and investment destination that seeks to become a middle-income country while championing industrialization, with the goal of fighting unemployment and poverty.

Aggrey Mlimuka, executive director of the Association of Tanzania Employers, says that to foster the business environment between the two countries, the focus should be on improving cooperation and relations between Chinese investors, the business community and government agencies such as the labor office of the Prime Minister's Office and the migration department.

"The Tanzania government is working closely with the Chinese government in enhancing bilateral cooperation that will improve the business environment to attract more foreign direct investment from China," says Mlimuka.

According to local trade experts, Chinese investment has not only contributed to local tax revenue and job creation, but also brought Tanzania high technology, efficient management and high-quality products. They say Chinese investment in Tanzania is likely to keep growing and collaboration on manufacturing, construction, aviation, agriculture and energy will also boom.

It is expected that Chinese-invested projects will help to improve Tanzania's dream to upgrade its economic and social development and industrialization, to make Tanzania a middle-income country by 2025.

Trade volume between the two countries hit a record $4.32 billion in 2014 and reached $2.31 billion in the first half of 2015.

China pays much attention to promoting balanced Sino-Tanzanian trade and has taken a number of effective measures. The Chinese government now gives unilateral zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of products from Tanzania and has also enhanced cooperation in customs, inspection and quarantine. Additionally, more Tanzanian specialty goods are available to Chinese consumers.

In recent years, under the umbrella of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese aid extended to water supplies, public health, education, new energy, human resources and training. Projects have included the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, the Tanzania National Main Stadium, the Chalinze water supply project, the cardiac surgery treatment and training center of Muhimbili National Hospital, the Tanzania Demonstration Centre of China Agriculture Technology and the Sino-Africa Friendship Primary Schools project, as well as solar streetlight and solar power generation projects.

Moreover, the Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to actively fulfill social responsibilities and contribute to local communities. For example, China Petroleum Technology and Development Corp, the builder of Tanzania's natural gas pipeline, has donated $5.2 million to the local people and villagers and has trained a large number of engineers, technicians and project managers.