UAE-Tanzania joint committee holds first meeting in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 20th December, 2016 (WAM) — From 2003 to 2016, UAE’s direct accumulative investment in the Republic of Tanzania rose to US$991.5 million, revealed Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation.

”Barriers that hinder free flow of investment between the two trading partners should be removed,” Al Hashemi said while co-chairing the first ministerial meeting of the UAE-Tanzania joint higher committee in Abu Dhabi, along with Augustine Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of Republic of Tanzania.

Al Hashemi called on both countries to explore business and investment opportunities in vital areas of priority like agriculture, infrastructure, energy and tourism.

She also recognised the importance of concluding negotiations regarding the agreement on promotion and protection of investment and the agreement on avoidance of double taxation on income.

”Despite the slight decline of 8.8 per cent in non-oil trade exchange between the two countries from $1.58 billion in 2014 to $1.45 billion in 2015, Tanzania, occupies the 41st rank in the list of UAE’s non-oil trading partners,” the minister noted.

The private sector can play an important role in boosting bilateral ties in areas of trade and investment if provided and empowered with adequate means to achieve that, she stated.

”The meeting underscores our resolve to build a strategic partnership that does not only contribute towards deepening the bilateral ties based on shared values and visions, but also enables the two countries to advance efforts aimed at realising peace, security and stability in our two regions and beyond,” Augustine Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of Tanzania, said addressing the meeting.

He said he was glad to be in Abu Dhabi and termed the first ministerial meeting of the joint higher committee as ‘ historic’ as it would contribute to further solidifying bilateral relations and co-operation.

The committee called on Iran to respond positively to UAE’s repeated initiatives to solve the issue of its three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa, occupied by Iran, either through direct negotiations or recourse the case to the International Court of Justice.

The committee expressed its absolute rejection of continuing foreign interference into the affairs of the GCC member states and other Arab countries, and demanded full compliance with basic principles of good neighbourliness, respect for the sovereignty of other states and non-interference in their internal affairs. They should also refrain from using force or threaten to use force so as to preserve the security and stability of the region.

On Yemen, the committee expressed its full commitment to the unity of the country, respect for its sovereignty and independence, while emphasising the importance of finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis in accordance with the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanism, outcomes of the National Dialogue and the full and unconditional implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

At the end of the meeting the UAE and Tanzania signed an agreement for air transport services and a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in tourism.

The minutes of the first meeting of the joint committee were also signed.

Since they established their diplomatic relations in 1974, the two countries have been maintaining robust, evolving ties. Tanzania opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2002, while the UAE reciprocated by opening its embassy in Dar es Salaam in 2007.

The two countries co-ordinate their stance at regional and international gatherings. Tanzania backed the UAE’s candidacy for membership to the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s council in October 2016, while the UAE supported Tanzanian in its candidacy for the International Law Committee in November 2016. Tanzania also supported UAE’s bid to host the Expo 2020 in Dubai.