|June 5, 2007
Country and China to have 'special' trade partnership
Tanzania and China will form a preferential economic partnership to promote trade between the two countries. Recently, China allowed 442 commodities from Africa to be sold in the country. Tanzania's Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, Basil Mramba, said Tanzania will fully exploit the fact that it had signed business contracts with China to sell agricultural produce, minerals and livestock products. China’s deputy minister for Commerce, Huang Hai said that his government was working towards enhancing its long-term bilateral relationship with Tanzania and that the investment opportunities in the latter are a big boost to the growth of trade between the two countries. According to him, both China and Tanzania had much to benefit from one another, and the wide coverage of Tanzania's wildlife sector by the Chinese mass media had highlighted the country's various national parks leading to an increase in Chinese tourists visiting the country.
The current Tanzania-China economic co-operation is a spin-off of what existed in the 1970s under Mao Tse Tung, when China helped to finance and build the 1.806km joint Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority railway line, which runs from the port of Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. China also built the Friendship Textile Mills (Urafiki Textile Mills) which produces fabrics for local consumption as well as export. The only colliery in the country, the Kiwira Coal Mine - now partly privatised - was also borne of this friendship. Later the coal mine started producing electricity, which was connected to the national grid. Electricity from the mine has also benefited the neighbouring districts of Malawi.
(East African, Nairobi)