Below is the text of PM’s Media Statement during the State Visit of President of United Republic of Tanzania-
Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete,
Members of the Media,
I am delighted to welcome President Kikwete and his delegation to India.
My Government has the pleasure of hosting him as the first Head of State from Africa on a State Visit to India.
President Kikwete’s vision and leadership over the past decade have advanced political stability and economic growth in Tanzania.
He has worked for a future of peace and cooperation in Africa.
And, we deeply value his strong commitment to relations with India.
India and Tanzania are connected by Indian Ocean. Its currents have carried our centuries-old human links. It prospers through nearly 50,000 people of Indian origin in Tanzania.
We have an emotional bond of a shared history of struggle against colonialism.
We have spoken in one voice for a life of equality and dignity for all people.
We have been partners in the cause of deeper cooperation among developing countries and a greater voice for them in international forums.
We have shared aspirations for inclusive economic development.
We have a common interest in maritime security in the Indian Ocean and a peaceful and prosperous Africa. Terrorism in our respective regions is a concern for both countries. We have agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to strengthen our co-operation in counter-terrorism.
We not only have a broad range of shared interests, but also a close relationship. We are pleased to be Tanzania’s largest trading partner and a long-standing development partner.
President Kikwete and I had comprehensive and productive talks today. I assured him of India’s continuing commitment to relations with Tanzania.
Our trade of over 4 billion U.S. dollars is heavily in India’s favour. I urged President Kikwete to open up more sectors for investments and exports.
Indian investments in Tanzania exceed 3 billion U.S. dollars and cover many areas. Indian investors are ready to invest more in Tanzania that would support Tanzania’s development and trade.
I offered our cooperation in the development of the potentially rich natural gas sector in Tanzania.
We discussed cooperation in the maritime sector and ocean economy. The agreement on hydrography is an important step forward in our cooperation in this sector.
We are pleased to be a partner in the development of human resources, healthcare, agriculture, institutions and infrastructure in Tanzania.
I assured President Kikwete that our development partnership will continue, as our agreements today indicate.
Tanzanian nationals in growing numbers travel to India. We have nearly 2000 Tanzanian students in India. I have informed President Kikwete that we will soon extend our e-tourist visa scheme to Tanzania.
We also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest. We are ready to expand cooperation in counter-terrorism and maritime security.
We greatly appreciate Tanzania’s support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.
I briefed President Kikwete about the Third India-Africa Forum Summit to be held in October in New Delhi. For the first time, we have invited leaders of the 54 African countries.
Tanzania is an important part of India-Africa partnership. President Kikwete co-chaired the First India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008. We look forward to his participation too.
Let me conclude by saying that our relations with Tanzania and Africa will continue to grow.
It is a great pleasure to host the leader of an Indian Ocean neighbour in Delhi.