INTERNATIONAL – Tanzanian President John Magufuli has urged his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa to mobilize his businessmen to increase their investments in the east African nation, said a statement on Thursday.
"Tanzania has determined to boost cooperation with South Africa in various economic spheres," Magufuli was quoted by the statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House.
The statement said the Tanzanian leader made the appeal for more investments from South Africa during talks with President Ramaphosa of his three-day state visit.
Magufuli said he extended the invitation to South African investors because the country has advanced industrial technology which could help Tanzania to achieve its industrialization drive aimed at attaining a middle class status by 2025, said the statement.
"South African investors are capable of putting up industries for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and minerals processing and Tanzania was readily prepared to offer any assistance they needed," said the president.
Magufuli also urged the South African leader to strengthen cooperation on tourism, saying South Africa has vast experience in the tourism industry as it received 10 million tourists annually compared to Tanzania that received a paltry 1.5 million tourists yearly.
Magufuli said South Africa was leading in doing trade with Tanzania compared to other member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He said 70 percent of goods produced in Tanzania for the SADC market found their market in South Africa, adding that trade between the two countries continued to grow.
Magufuli said trade volume between the two countries was 2.68 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 1.16 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 from 2.52 trillion shillings recorded in 2017.
For his part, Ramaphosa said there were 228 South African companies in Tanzania employing 21,000 people, promising to bring more investors to Tanzania as he urged Tanzanian investors to reciprocate by going to invest in his country.
He commended Tanzania for producing surplus food, saying South Africa will continue buying food from the east African nation.
On Saturday, Ramaphosa will join other 15 leaders from the 16-member states SADC to attend the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government that will run for two days.