The Chinese government plans to construct in the future high speed railway in Tanzania and other priority business partner countries as a way of bolstering economic relations with them.
The plan was revealed in Beijing recently by the Director-General of China Centre for Urban Development, Li Tie while briefing Tanzanian women journalists on the benefits of the long-standing economic ties between the two countries, future general outlook and new strategies to enhance these relations.
Lie noted that the project would be part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative that is championed by China’s President Xi Jinping in October this year.
President Xi raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road aimed at promoting the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road.
Director Lie said: “China’s economy is closely connected with the world economy. China will stay committed to the basic policy of opening-up, building a new pattern of all round opening-up and integrate itself deeper into the world economic system.
He added: “The Belt and Road cooperation features mutual respect and trust, mutual benefits and win-win cooperation, and mutual learning between civilisations. As long as countries along the belt make concerted efforts to pursue our cannon goal, there will be bright prospects for the countries along the Belt and Road.
Meanwhile, the director urged Tanzania to fully exploit the potentials of the Bagamoyo port that is currently under construction by a Chinese firm.
He said the project would highly boost the East African country’s economy as traders from across the region would easily import and export goods to and from the port.
Meanwhile, the Chinese minister for foreign affairs has underscored that the establishment of Chinese companies in Tanzania has generated many jobs since 2005. According to Li, there were over 500 Chinese companies operating in Tanzania in 2014 with USD800 investment.
He said the companies have provided direct employment to 150,000 Tanzanians.
China and Tanzania’s economic relations date back to the 70s where China built the Tanzania Zambia Railway (Tazara) which is still functioning todate. Since then China has made significant number of investments including the recent oil and gas transporting project in the East African nation and have maintained strong business ties for nanny years.
China invested over USD120bn in Africa in 2014 and at present it has injected USD15bn in Tanzania.
China’s mainly imports are energy and minerals from Tanzania while it exports clothes, machinery, technology, hardware, among other things.