China-Tanzania co-op promising: envoy
DAR ES SALAAM - Cooperation between China and Tanzania is solidly based and bound to have a bright future, the Chinese ambassador has said.
Bilateral cooperation reflects the trend of times and is the common aspiration of the two peoples, Lu Youqing said ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the East African country.
"Both China and Tanzania face daunting tasks of national development and have a shared mission to safeguard world peace," he told Xinhua in an interview.
In the past few years, the two countries have witnessed frequent high-level exchanges and valuable communications on state governance experience, he said.
Based on political mutual trust and mutual support, the two countries have maintained very close communication on major international and regional issues and firmly supported each other especially on issues concerning each other's core interests, he added.
Bilateral economic and trade cooperation has gained momentum, he said, adding that China has now become the top partner of Tanzania with bilateral trade surpassing 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Chinese investment in Tanzania also grew rapidly in the past few years, with China becoming Tanzania's second largest foreign investor, he added.
"Although Tanzania's trade deficit with China is relatively big, the Tanzanian government and people have developed a proper understanding and never exaggerated the issue," he said.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete has made it clear that while his country's exports to almost all countries have been in a downward trend, its exports to China maintained growth momentum, he said.
For now, China has invested more than 1 billion dollars in Tanzania's agriculture, manufacturing, energy, minerals, infrastructure and other sectors.
The investment in Tanzania has offered opportunities for the development of Chinese enterprises and at the same time promoted Tanzania's economic growth by creating jobs and bringing advanced technology and management skills, he said.
The two countries boasted broad foundations in economic and trade cooperation, where Chinese funds, technology, talent and management skills helped Tanzania translate its advantage in resources into economic advantage, Lu said.
Giving play to respective advantages, China-Tanzania cooperation produced mutual benefits and win-win outcomes in accordance with principles of fairness and justice, thus gaining support from African friends, he said.
On cultural and education exchanges, Lu said they promoted bilateral political, economic and trade cooperation and helped African people feel that China is a trusted friend.
"We are planning to increase the number of Tanzanian students in China, which now stands at about 700, to give them chance to experience Chinese culture, and learn modern technology and management skills," he said.
Tanzania would be the second stop of President Xi's first overseas trip since he took office last week.