India and Tanzania will sign 15 agreements covering different areas of cooperation, Tanzanian Foreign Minister January Yusuf Makamba said ahead of the bilateral talks between visiting President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
The presidential visit from Tanzania to India is taking place after a span of more than eight years.
“This is a very important visit for Tanzania. The big announcement we expect here is regarding the elevation of the bilateral relations into a strategic partnership. We expect that commitments on enhancement of trade and investment will be announced. We expect an announcement on about 15 agreements covering different areas of cooperation, both government to government but also with private entities,” Makamba told PTI on Sunday.
The Tanzanian foreign minister, who has already taken part in bilateral discussions with his Indian counterpart, S Jaishankar, is optimistic that India, as a significant partner in the Official Development Assistance (ODA), might announce an extension of a water project in the African country.
India has so far contributed $1 billion in assistance for water projects in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian president will also address a business forum in New Delhi on October 10, where the two countries expect the signing of new deals and partnerships between Tanzanian and Indian companies.
“One of the objectives of this visit is precisely to enhance the trade volumes, to speak to the Indian business community here, to speak to the Indian government to see what barriers exist, what challenges exist that impede the expansion of trade. And we believe that we can get to $ 10 billion bilateral trade in the next three years,” Makamba said.
Appreciating India’s initiative for trade settlement in national currencies, he noted that it offers several benefits, including advantages related to exchange rates and preservation of foreign exchange reserves.
“There are some technical details that are being worked out. Two teams are working from two central banks to fix some unclear provisions from this initiative to make sure that it creates an opportunity for an explosion of trade between our two countries,” Makamba emphasised.
India and Tanzania have also been collaborating to enhance defence cooperation through initiatives, such as capacity building, training, technology transfer, joint patrols and military exercises.
“Defence cooperation is one of the pillars of our strategic partnership. Now, in terms of the specifics about the kind of equipment needed by Tanzania, that will come later in a detailed conversation between technical teams. The needs assessment will be carried out and the capacity of India to supply these will be determined and agreements may be reached at a later stage,” Makamba said.
The Tanzanian president will receive a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan here on Monday morning, followed by an in-depth bilateral dialogue with Modi.