TRADE, INVESTMENT TO DOMINATE DISCUSSIONS DURING PRESIDENT ZUMA’S STATE VISIT

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Opportunities for enhanced bilateral trade and investment as well as issues related to regional and international co-operation will feature high on the agenda during the visit by South African President Jacob Zuma, who is expected to arrive in Tanzania Wednesday for a three-day state visit on the invitation of President John Magufuli.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation Dr Augustine Mahiga told a media conference here that the South African leader's delegation would include six Cabinet ministers and 80 business persons.

The visit by President Zuma follows a meeting with Dr Magufuli during the 28th African Union (AU) Heads of State meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. President Zuma will arrive in Tanzania on Wednesday evening and he would be received by his host, President Magufuli, Dr Mahiga said.

During the visit, the two leaders will witness the signing of three agreements on co-operation in environment, energy and transport. The two countries are presently also negotiating other areas for co-operation such as health, education, infrastructure, trade, investment, tourism and irrigation farming.

On Thursday, President Zuma and his host will hold private talks and thereafter take part in an expanded meeting to include delegates from the two countries. After the meetings, the two leaders will witness the inking of the three agreements on environment, energy and transport, Dr Mahiga said.

Discussions are also underway on co-operation in other areas, including the education sector where we plan to have exchange programmes for teachers to share experiences in addition to cooperation in media.

Dr Mahiga revealed further that the two countries have so far inked 15 agreements on co-operation covering education, science and technology, culture and agriculture.

During the visit, President Zuma will also attend a luncheon to be hosted by the business communities from South Africa and Tanzania and thereafter attend a business forum to bring together businesspersons from the two countries, he said.

Trade between Tanzania and South Africa has been rising over the past years from 900 million US dollars in 2007 to 2.4 billion USD last year. South Africa is an important partner in investment, it is the second country with huge investments in Tanzania, after Kenya, Dr Mahiga remarked.

Investors from South Africa have invested in about 225 projects with a value of 803.15 million USD in various sectors of the economy, employing 20,916 people. Tanzania exports fresh-cut flowers, coffee, live animals, garments, jewelries, tobacco and edible oil to South Africa.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK