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Speech of H.E. Ambassador Wang Ke at China-Tanzania High-Level Dialogue on Investment and Business Environment
(April 17th, 2019, Serena Hotel Dar es Salaam)
2019/04/21

Hon. Angellah Jasmine Kairuki, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Investment),

Hon. Dr. Damas Daniel Ndumbaro, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affair and East African Cooperation,

Hon. Stella Manyanya, Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade,

Representatives of relevant government departments of Tanzania,

Representatives of Chinese companies, chambers of commerce, and Chinese compatriots and overseas Chinese nationals,

Good morning! Habari za asubuhi! 大家上午好!

Welcome! Karibuni sana! 欢迎大家!

Today's High-Level Dialogue is co-organized by Chinese Embassy and Prime Minister's Office of Tanzania. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, I would like to congratulate and express my sincere gratitude to everyone, including Tanzanian government officials, representatives of Chinese companies and staff members of the Chinese Embassy, who have made tremendous efforts to prepare for this important event. My special thanks are extended to Your Honorable Mrs. Angellah Jasmine Kairuki, Your Honorable Dr. Damas Daniel Ndumbaro and Your Honorable Ms. Stella Manyanya and for your generous support and presence here, which truly demonstrate the willingness and positive attitude of the Tanzanian Government toward Chinese enterprises and welcome them to invest and do business in Tanzania.

The China-Tanzania High-Level Dialogue on Investment and Business Environment has two objectives: the first one is to provide a platform for the Tanzanian Government to publicize, introduce and promote its investment policies and business environment; and the second one is to facilitate investment, project contracting and trade business operations of Chinese companies in Tanzania. This Dialogue is a valuable attempt to conduct pragmatic communication, it is also an important and concrete action taken by the Tanzanian side to send out the signal that the Tanzania Government welcomes foreign investment. I hope all the participants could communicate and interact with each other with a friendly, candid and pragmatic attitude, and offer solutions and recommendations on the best way to enhance mutual understanding and address the existing problems in China-Tanzania trade and economic cooperation.

Dear colleagues and representatives,

China and Tanzania enjoy deep-rooted traditional friendship. The bilateral relationship has always been a good example for China and other African countries to follow in building their relationships. Recent years have witnessed steady development of our bilateral relations, especially the fruitful cooperation in economic and trade fields. The bilateral trade volume in 2018 reached 3.976 billion USD, registering a year-on-year growth of 15%. China has been the largest trading partner of Tanzania for three consecutive years. Due to the joint efforts made by Chinese companies and local governments in Tanzania, the export of Tanzania's dried cassava to China is expected to increase substantially this year. The bilateral trade, especially Tanzania's export to China, will continue to grow. Up to now, China's total investment in Tanzania has exceeded 7 billion USD, which makes China the largest foreign investor in the country. At present, over 200 Chinese companies are making investments and operating in Tanzania. China is also the largest project contractor in Tanzania, the volume of newly signed project contracts in 2018 exceeded 1.3 billion USD. China's investments in Tanzania range from infrastructure, mining, agriculture to manufacturing, hotels, real estate, banks, etc. You can easily see the projects undertaken or invested by Chinese enterprises, such as natural gas pipelines, the national fibre-optical communication backbone network, the Julius Nyerere Bridge, Kiluwa steel factory and Sunbelt audible oil factory. These projects as shining stars have played important roles in promoting economic growth, creating jobs and improving Tanzanian people's livelihood. I am also glad to see the rapidly increasing number of Chinese tourists in Tanzania. As Air Tanzania is about to open direct flights to China, the cooperation in tourism between the two countries is likely to become a new bright spot in China-Tanzania relations.

It should also be noted that there are some challenges facing China-Tanzania trade and economic cooperation. Firstly, as an important part of China-Africa cooperation, China-Tanzania cooperation is also at the crucial stage of transformation and upgrading. Some of our concepts and methods of cooperation need to be changed and optimized. The areas of cooperation should be further expanded. What we need to do is to make a bigger cake through cooperation so that the government and the enterprises could achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. We should never kill the goose that lays golden eggs because nobody will win through that action.

Secondly, the development strategies of China and Tanzania have not be closely linked, and there are still some mismatches between our expectations from bilateral cooperation, therefore communications on polices need to be further enhanced. In addition, the Tanzanian Government has made fairly large policy adjustments in such areas as taxation, immigration and investment in recent years, and some Chinese enterprises are either unaware or not used to these policy adjustments, which to some extent has dampened their enthusiasm for doing business in Tanzania. Although these problems are not the mainstream in China-Tanzania relations, we should attach great importance to them, and try to solve them in a proper way so that potential risks could be eliminated and more positive energy could be accumulated for our bilateral cooperation.

Dear colleagues and representatives,

In September 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced "eight initiatives" at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), on which China and Africa should focus in their cooperation for the next three years. The eight initiatives has provided a realistic route and strong impetus for China and Africa to jointly implement the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and to build up a closer China-Africa community with a shared future. This year marks the beginning of implementation of the outcomes of FOCAC Beijing Summit. To facilitate the implementation, the Chinese side is currently conducting close consultations with African nations, including Tanzania. At the same time, President John Pombe Magufuli proclaimed this year to be the "Year of Investment". The Tanzanian Government is committed to improving its business environment and attracting more foreign investment. China and Tanzania should make full use of the current favorable circumstances, including implementing the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes and advancing the Belt and Road, so as to maintain the upward trend of our bilateral cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination, and tap the full potential of China-Tanzania cooperation. The two countries should adhere to the principle of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes so as to jointly promote rapid and sound development of bilateral pragmatic cooperation. To achieve this goal, I would like to propose four recommendations:

First, strengthen the work of linking development strategies and promote the overall progress of practical cooperation. We should well establish the linkages between the implementation of FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes and joint advancement of the Belt and Road on the Chinese side, and the Second Five-Year Development Plan and the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 on the Tanzanian side. We should strengthen strategic planning, identify key cooperation areas and priority projects, create new patterns of cooperation and promote collaboration in an orderly way. By that doing we could implement more outcomes of FOCAC Beijing Summit in Tanzania and really transform the political advantage of China-Tanzania traditional friendship into a strong driving force for close trade and economic cooperation. The co-chairs of FOCAC, China and Senegal, proposed to convene a Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit in June this year. This is an important opportunity for China and Tanzania to link their development strategies and reach more consensus on their cooperation. Therefore, we expect active participation from the Tanzanian side.

Second, enhance exchanges in ideas and jointly create a favorable environment. One important experience of China's success in economic development is to attract a large amount of foreign capital and technologies through preferential policies in land use, electricity, taxation, etc. at the beginning of China's reform and opening-up 40 years ago. We call it "to build nests for phoenixes". Last month, the Second Session of the 13th National People's Congress discussed and approved the Foreign Investment Law, which is a landmark legislation that will provide stronger protection and a better business environment for overseas investors. The approval of the Foreign Investment Law is a manifestation of China's resolve to further open itself to the outside world and boost the inflow of foreign investment. China is willing to enhance exchanges in development concepts with Tanzania and share with Tanzanian friends its experience and practices in opening-up and attracting investments from overseas. China is also willing to support the Tanzania Government in its endeavor to build a friendly, transparent and predictable business environment, and create better conditions for foreign companies, including Chinese firms, to invest in Tanzania.

Third, smooth the way for information exchange, facilitate good interaction and meet each other halfway. It is advisable for us to enhance communication and coordination at various levels, look for common interests, dispel doubts and clear up perplexities voluntarily so as to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment, and maintain a good atmosphere for cooperation. Today's dialogue is a good beginning for our two sides to strengthen communication on investment and business policies. If such dialogues can be institutionalized, the Tanzanian Government would know better the wishes and appeals of Chinese enterprises in Tanzania, and the Chinese enterprises would better adjust themselves to the new policies of Tanzania. As a result, China-Tanzanian cooperation would proceed steadily in more efficient and harmonious way.

Fourth, stick to problem-oriented approach and make concerted efforts to solve difficult problems. "Solutions are always more than difficulties", as long as we face the problems squarely and try to solve them on the basis of sincerity, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, China-Tanzania cooperation can surely reach a new height. It is my hope that the Tanzanian Government lent more support to Chinese enterprises operating in this country and helped them overcome the difficulties they are facing. I also hope that the Chinese enterprises in Tanzania could think in the perspective of the Tanzanian Government and acquire a better understanding of its policies. At the same time, I suggest the Chinese firms to look at their own shortcomings, and improve their capabilities in overcoming difficulties.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-Tanzania diplomatic relations. On 24 April, the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of Tanzania, will co-host a gala party to celebrate this important event at the library of University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). The celebration aims at summarizing historical achievements, deepening friendship between our two peoples and starting a new journey for our cooperation. It is my sincere hope that the Chinese companies in Tanzania, Chinese compatriots and overseas Chinese nationals could continue upholding the concepts of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests proposed by President Xi Jinping, working closely with the Tanzanian Government and making joint progress with the Tanzania people. The Chinese Embassy in Tanzania will continue fulfilling its obligations by building connections and facilitating your participation in China-Tanzania cooperation. We will work together with all of you to push forward China-Tanzania trade and economic cooperation to new levels continuously.

Finally, I wish today's High-Level Dialogue a complete success.

Thank you! Asante sana! 谢谢!

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