When Tanganyika and Zanzibar were united and became Tanzania on 26 April 1964, it was natural for China to extend its diplomatic ties. Tanzania has had good relations with the People’s Republic of China over the past 30 years. This relationship is linked with bi-lateral co-operation including the TAZARA railway project on Tanzania mainland.
It is therefore natural that Tanzania and China are good all-weather friends, said Chinese Vice- President, Li Yuanchao, during a reception in Beijing recently to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Good all-weather friends the two countries indeed are as attested by the long standing friendship and cooperation that have withstood the test of time, thriving on the strong foundations built by the founding fathers of the nations, namely Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Mao Zedong
Tanzania has been highlighted among potential African countries where China has invested.
The investment has increased 60 times in the past 17 years. African countries including Tanzania have continued to be the largest market for various goods that are imported from China.
The Chinese director of the department of West Asia and Africa Affairs in the Ministry of Commerce, Dong Wang, said good cooperation with African countries has been the strong pillars to the business success.
He was speaking during the press conference convened for ministry’s officials and members of the media from Africa. In Tanzania, Chinese companies have invested and participated in the construction of various projects.
Some of these projects are Jiangsu Shinyanga business Park, Construction of Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and construction of textile, food processing industries and others.
By the end of 2013, China had invested more than $2.5bn US dollars in Tanzania, with nearly 500 Chinese companies doing business in the country. This makes China the second largest investor in Tanzania after the UK.
During President Xi Jinping’s tour in Tanzania, China signed 16 trade, cultural and diplomatic agreements with Tanzania, worth about $12 billion in total. The visit was a great boost to the economic ties between the two countries.
Xi’s visit also paved the way for China to fund and build the US$10 billion Bagamoyo Port and other infrastructure project which will be able to handle 20 times more cargo than the port in Dar es Salaam and will be the largest port in Africa.
In the same vein, Chinese government has been conducting various programmes that have helped to train more than 8,000 Africans in various fields including infrastructure construction, industrial and others.
In recent years, Tanzania has become a beneficiary of various preferential business opportunities offered by China. According to 2016 statistics from Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), China's direct investment to Tanzania was 7 billion US dollars, making the Asian nation the largest FDI source country of Tanzania.
China is also Tanzania's largest trading partner with the total trade volume in 2016 as high as 3.88 billion US dollars. In the coming five years, the total Chinese foreign investment is expected to reach 750 billion dollars.