DAR-ES-SALAAM, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who arrived in the country Monday for a two-day working visit to cement the long-standing friendship the two nations have enjoyed since the era of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Gamal Abdel Nasser has invited President John Magufuli to Cairo, stressing on the need to bolster economic and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Trade between Tanzania and Egypt stands at just 78 million US dollars, while Egyptian companies have invested about 900 million USD in this country, creating 956 jobs for Tanzanians. Reports from Cairo show that trade between Egypt and other African countries surged to 4.8 billion USD last year, up from 4.5 billion USD the previous year.

Egypt's Minister for Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil was quoted as saying that higher Egyptian exports were the main catalyst for growth in the volume of trade. Egyptian exports to African countries in 2016 totalled 3.4 billion USD while imports totalled only 1.3 billion USD.

The visit by President Al-Sisi to Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad, and Gabon will present an important step towards strengthening the strategic relations between Egypt and the African countries, on both political and economic levels, explained the minister.

Economic relations was high on the agenda during the two leaders' meeting in State House Monday as Egypt gives top priority to the development of economic relations with other countries on the continent.

The economic ties are through the framework of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) being set up by three regional blocs -- Comesa, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Tanzania and Egypt are also among 11 member States in the Nile Basin Initiative, a body which brings together countries which use waters of the River Nile. Egypt's Ministry of Trade and Industry has in place an ambitious strategy to promote trade and investment with African markets, as they are one of the most promising markets for its products.

The ministry has opened five new commercial offices in Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Djibouti and Ivory Coast, in addition to establishment of a logistics centre in Kenya to facilitate the movement of trade between Egypt and East Africa.