President Thabo Mbeki to Host the Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa in Tshwane South Africa, 21-23 September 2005

Background Notes

Bilateral relations with Tanzania are cordial and progress is made in a wide range of fields of mutual interest. Both countries have experienced similar constitutional developments and challenges and share similar views on multilateral issues.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade between South Africa and Tanzania is steadily increasing and a number of exchanges took place at officials level enhancing cooperation. Two meetings related to trade and investment led by the Department of Trade and Industry took place in Midrand and Dar Es Salaam respectively in July 2004. The meetings were attended by leading SA businesses, senior Tanzanian and South African government officials and the Tanzanian Prime Minister Frederick Samaye.

The first Economic Bilateral Meeting took place in February 2003. The meeting was held following the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Co-operation in the Industry and Trade Programs between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Tanzania and the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, which had been signed in 1998.

The key purpose of the meeting was firstly, to review the implementation of the decisions reached during the Second Bilateral Technical Meeting held in Dar- Es- Salaam January 21 - 25, 2002; secondly, to draw up the program of co-operation for the years ahead.

In 1998 South Africa started a process of formalizing economic relations by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Trade and Investment Programs between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa.

Trade and investment between South Africa and Tanzania continues to grow at a slow but steady pace. The Memorandum of Understanding in the Industry and Trade Programs was signed in 1998 between the respective Ministers of Trade and Industry in the areas of project development, research and technology, trade facilitation, development of physical and economic infrastructure and spatial development initiatives.

In this regard, the Tanzanian market offers viable business opportunities for South African investors and exporters, as a means of facilitating increased job creation and skills and technology transfer in both countries.

More than one hundred and fifty South African companies are economically active in Tanzania, which is rated as a premier investment destination for South African business people. South African exports to Tanzania are predominantly in the spheres of manufacturing, i.e., machinery, mechanical appliances, paper, rubber products, vehicles, iron, steel, services and technology.

The positive progress recorded by the Tanzanian government in promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to address the development challenges facing Tanzania, furthermore provides myriad opportunities for South African investors to strategically position themselves in the region, by forging mutually beneficial joint venture partnerships with Tanzanian stakeholders.

The Presidential Economic Commission would provide the necessary co-operative framework to manage the development and implementation of bilateral projects as well as the Spatial Development Initiatives (SDI's) Program, in particular the Mtwara and Central Development Corridors, which have been identified as regional NEPAD priority programs.

The Presidential Economic Commission would further serve as an enabling instrument in support of regional NEPAD programs and in particular, assist the process of accelerating regional economic integration by way of strengthening the East African Community (EAC) as a building block to address the challenges posed by poverty and underdevelopment.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

20 September 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa