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China is the most responsible investor to Tanzania
2012/11/09

Speech by H.E. Ambassador Lu Youqing at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Natural Gas Pipeline Project

8 November 2012, Dar es Salaam

 

Your Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic Of Tanzania,

Your Honorable Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Your Honorable Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Minister of Energy And Minerals,

Respected Mr Li Xinhua, Deputy Manager General of China National Petroleum Corporation,

Your Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Regional Commissioners,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Good morning.

First, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the inauguration ceremony of the natural gas pipeline project, which is highly expected by the Tanzania government and its people.

The China-Tanzania traditional friendship was initiated by President Mwalimu Nyerere, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and other leaders of the older generation from both countries. It dates back to the ancient and grows stronger with the time. In nearly 50 years, China and Tanzania have conducted fruitful cooperation in various areas such as politics, economy, culture and military, which not only promoted the economic development, social progress, people’s livelihood of our respective countries, but also made enormous contribution to world peace and a fairer international political and economic order.

Ladies and gentlemen,

President Kikwete is a talented leader for Tanzania, a prominent political figure with wide influence in global community, and to me personally, a friend and teacher. He tells me several times that the priority of Tanzania is economic development and poverty reduction, and what Tanzania needs mostly is investment and market. As the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, my major task is to make the best of the comparative advantages between our two countries, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, promote the development of our economic and trade partnership based on mutually benefit, enhance political trust and mutual support on major regional and international issues, which ultimately will strengthen our traditional friendship and all-weather partnership.

I’m proud that China was, is and will always be the most reliable friend and most responsible investor for Tanzania. Chinese government, companies and businessmen are deeply involved in the development of Tanzania, our cooperation can be seen in every field of Tanzania’s social and economic development, and our bilateral friendship is enhanced in every sector relating to the improvement of Tanzanian people’s living standard.

According to the statistics from Tanzanian Investment Center, by the end of August 2012, there has been more than 300 Chinese companies investing in Tanzania’s infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and SME development with a total registered capital of over $1 billion. China has risen from the sixth largest foreign investor one year ago to the second now. Chinese investments help create over 80 thousand local jobs, and train a large number of management and technical personnel for Tanzania.

I just came back from my vacation in China. When I was in Beijing, I went to the Chinese Exim Bank and checked the utilization of loans provided by China to African countries. I can tell you that the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas pipeline project uses more concessional loans than any other projects, and symbolizes that Tanzania has become the top one African receiver of Chinese capital, especially in terms of concessional loans.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

International trade and foreign direct investment are two wheels that push world economy forward. Not only the developing countries, but also developed countries are trying to attract foreign investment. China attracted 59.1 billion US dollars’ foreign direct investment in the first half of this year, exceeding US’ 57.4 billion to be the first choice of foreign investment destination.

China becomes the largest new market investor and US has attracted the largest direct investment from Chinese companies. From January to June this year, US attracted 7.8 billion US dollars from China. This September, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke led dozens of US government officials and companies to attend the Western China International Fair (WCIF) held in my hometown Sichuan Province, hoping to attract more Chinese companies to invest in the US.

Some western politicians and media criticize China-Africa economic and trade relations, saying that China invests in Africa only for its natural resources, and ask African countries to reject investments from China. They distort facts with ulterior motives and disregard African countries’ efforts to develop economy and reduce poverty. In sum, China has invested over $15 billion in more than 50 African countries. Chinese investments in infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing industry and small and medium-sized enterprises are widely welcomed by African countries. Facts prove that Chinese investments not only improve African countries’ economic performance, but also enhance its self-development capacity.

Last September, Tanzania proposed to Chinese side a plan of building a 532-kilometer gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam with a total fund of $1.225 billion. Chinese government attached great importance to this project, completed the whole assessment and approval procedures within a year, and provided concessional loans through the Chinese Exim Bank.

Tanzania is facing serious electricity shortage, which has become a major obstacle for industrialization and improvement of people’s life. The gas pipeline will help Tanzania make full use of its natural resources, tackle electricity bottleneck, create better investment environment, and strengthen national development capacity. Greatly benefiting ordinary Tanzanian people, it will become a project of popularity, prosperity and hope.

China National Petroleum Corporation, which will be responsible for the construction of the pipeline, is the largest in China and also a world-known company. Its advanced technology, modern management and high sense of social responsibility make it highly respected in China and the world as well. Its participation is a symbol of the highest level of participation from both sides in the bilateral economic cooperation. I’m very happy to witness this historic moment together with President Kikwete.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The natural gas pipeline project is another milestone of China-Tanzania cooperation after the construction of TAZARA. The Chinese side will complete the project with the best quality, the fastest speed, the most environmental friendly materials, and the safest technology. We will also kindly coordinate the relationship with local governments and communities and positively participate the joint management of the project after its completion. China will also help Tanzania to cultivate professional talents with skills in management and enterprises. We will make sure that the project enjoys best profit and maximum social effect after its completion.

Before my conclusion, I wish this project a full success and May China-Tanzania cooperation more new fruits!

Thank you!

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