Tanzania and China have enjoyed a very special relationship that dates back from the days of the generation of leadership of the founding fathers of these nations, namely the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, Abeid A. Karume and Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and later Supreme Leader Deng Xioping. The two countries established bilateral relations in 1964.
Contemporarily, Sino-Tanzania relations have continued to evolve from strength to strength with greater and diversified economic engagement and people-to-people interaction. The exchange of high level visits between the two countries has accentuated the strength of our relations. H.E President Xi Jinping’s maiden visit to Africa in March, 2013 which also took him to Tanzania as the first African country to visit after his ascendance to the helm epitomizes a number of successful high- level visits which culminated into conclusion of several socio-economic and trade development Agreements.
The two countries have continued to cooperate in many fields including health, education and culture, agriculture, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), trade, tourism, energy and infrastructure development. Over the years, China has provided financial and technical support to the implementation of many projects, including, the TAZARA Railway line, Mbarali Rice Farm, Friendship Textile Mills Ltd, Kiwira Coal Mine, Chalinze Water Supply Project, Construction of Muhimbili Cardiology Training and Open Heart Surgery Centre, Establishment of the Agricultural Demonstration Centre in Morogoro, Construction of the National Stadium with a seating capacity of 60,000 people, construction of the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre and the Office Building of the Foreign Ministry.
Trade between Tanzania and China grew vigorously and healthily despite global economic slow down. It has given a strong boost to the economic growth of both sides. In 2014, bilateral trade volume was 4.3 billion US dollars. These statistics only serves to confirm the depth and width of China-Tanzania economic interaction. China is now the second largest foreign investor in Tanzania, with investments amounting to USD 2.5 billion. In the meantime, more than 500 Chinese companies are set up in Tanzania, generating 150,000 jobs for Tanzanians. China is Tanzania’s largest trade partner, and there are at least 350,000 Tanzanians engaging in activities related to Sino-Tanzania trade.
Similarly, China has in the last five years extended to Tanzania; grants, concessional and commercial loans to a tune of USD 1.942 million to finance projects from different sectors. Currently, the total value of funds that has been approved by EXIM Bank of China to finance different projects in Tanzania (with specific focus on infrastructure systems) stands at 11 billion RMB. Some of the development projects supported by the Chinese Government in collaboration with the Tanzanian government include; the National ICT Broad band Infrastructure Project, the Mtwara- Dar Gas Pipe line and the Zanzibar International Airport Terminal. Other projects on the pipeline include North East Power Transmission Lines and Mpigaduri Port.