Opening Remarks By Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi, Deputy Permanent Secretary Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And East African Cooperation Of The United Republic Of Tanzania On The 9th Session Of The Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) Between The United Republic Of Tanzania And The Republic Of India In New Delhi, India, 15th October 2018.
Co-Chair, and Our Host,
Distinguished Senior Officials from both Delegations,
Delegates from Tanzania and India,
It is a great honour and privilege for me to address this august group sitting for the 9th Session of the Joint Commission Meeting between the United Republic of Tanzania and India. On behalf of my delegation and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to convey our heartfelt and sincere appreciations to the Government and the People of India for the courtesy hospitality that has been accorded to us since our arrival in New Delhi. I thank you very much.
Allow me also to thank our two teams of experts who have tirelessly worked long hours to prepare this meeting. I know for certain that a great deal of effort and sleepless nights has gone into these preparations and therefore it is fitting to congratulate them for a job well done.
In the same vein, I would be failing in my duty if I do not recognize the role played by â€œthose behind the sceneâ€ who are always forgotten, for their unwavering efforts of making sure that successful deliberations are achieved.
Friends and distinguished participants,
This meeting is happening long after the usual time table would require. We were supposed to have met in 2015, but that could not happen as by that time Tanzania was preparing for her General Elections, for the Fifth Phase Government under President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli.
You may have been following on the radical transformation and reforms that have accompanied his philosophy, including austerity measures especially, on foreign trips. At the beginning, it was hard to conceive, but slowly the Tanzania citizenry understood the philosophy being advocated by the President. We are now at the same understanding and that is confirmed by the size of delegation attending this important meeting.
But it is also important to note that we could not meet in 2016, because of the State visit to Tanzania by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2016, whereby a number of deliberations were agreed upon, thus providing time for our two parties to implement the decisions and directives from our two Principals. On the other hand in 2017 we had our 4th Joint Trade Committee (JTC).
During the State visit of Prime Minister Modi, the two leaders agreed, among other things to deepen our partnership in agriculture and food security, including enhanced export of pulses from Tanzania to India; work together in development and use of natural gas; partner in building industrial economy, capacity building to various institutions in Tanzania; and deepening our trade and investment partnership by encouraging greater industry to industry relationships.
These were firm commitments of the two Principals which should be implemented to the letters. Although some of these commitments have been implemented and others are still in the process of implementation, we wish to refer to an Agreement on pulses which has greatly suffered because of the bumper production of pulses in India in the year 2016/17, resulting to the ban of import of pulses from Tanzania.
We had hoped that, this was a temporary measure but it does not seem to be case. Therefore, hoping that this would not be seen as asking too much, we are humbly pleading with our brotherly country, to open up a small window for our produce once the domestic market stabilizes.
Bilateral ties between Tanzania and India have been cordial and warm since the establishment of our diplomatic relations way back in 1961. To date, Tanzania is one of the largest beneficiaries of grants, assistance and support from India in many fields, for which I will not attempt to elaborate. But it suffices to register our earnest appreciations to the Government of India, our true ally.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is worth mentioning here that, in terms of investment flows to Tanzania, India is among the top five investment source in Tanzania, adding up to USD 2.2 billion. Major areas of investment from India include; the manufacturing, telecom, transport, agriculture, tourism, services, construction, energy, financial, natural resources, human resources, broadcasting and information technology.
By and large, the cumulative FDI inflow from Tanzania to India (from April 2000 to March 2017) stood at US $ 3.45 million and it is most likely to expand. With the current administrationâ€™s drive for industrialization, Tanzania looks positively to benefitting from Indiaâ€™s vast experience, expertise and support in this field. As the African proverb goes: "There is no better mirror than the best friend." So, we will continue to promote more collaboration with our Indian sisters and brothers as we strive to achieve our vision.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to close my brief remarks because we have a very ambitious agenda ahead of us. I have faith in our two dedicated teams of experts and, I hope we will have good outcome of our meeting.
I THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.