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Tanzania 'welcomes overseas investment'

(China Daily)

09:24, March 25, 2013

Philip S. Marmo, Tanzanian ambassador to China

Tanzania, which considers China a "role model of development and a true friend", welcomes its investment and expects to collaborate more closely on bilateral ties, the Tanzanian ambassador to China said.

"China has contributed to the sustainable development of Tanzania," Philip S. Marmo said during an exclusive interview with China Daily in Beijing before flying to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city, to receive President Xi Jinping.

Tanzania hopes Xi's trip will bring bilateral ties "to a new height" and send a message to the world that the relationship between China and Africa "continues to stand the test of time", Marmo said.

During his first trip overseas since taking office, Xi will visit three African countries: Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. He is expected to meet Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and deliver a speech in Dar es Salaam explaining China's policy on Africa.

Of the African countries, Tanzania enjoys particularly close, multi-layered ties with China. Beijing established diplomatic ties with the country in 1964. Relations were highlighted in the 1970s when China built the 1,800-kilometer Tanzania-Zambia railway. Scores of Chinese engineers, workers and doctors lost their lives during the construction of the project, the ambassador said.

In the new era, with both countries now working on their five-year development plans, China and Tanzania have further solidified their ties. China is helping Tanzania realize its ambitious plan to improve its infrastructure. With its location bordering the Indian Ocean and its domestic stability, Tanzania hopes to become a transportation center in the eastern part of the continent and a "Gateway to Africa".

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