Tanzania signs over $1.7 bln investment deals with China
26 October 2014, 10:25
Dar es Salaam - Tanzania and China have signed investment deals to build a $1 billion satellite city and $500 million financial centre in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, the latest sign of Beijing's deepening ties with East Africa.
The total of five deals, worth more than $1.7 billion, will go toward developments in infrastructure, power distribution, real estate and business cooperation, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said in a statement on Friday, one day after the deals were formally signed in Beijing.
The new investment deals mark China's growing economic presence in Tanzania, which has made major discoveries of natural gas off its southern coast.
The satellite city and the financial centre are joint projects by the China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company Ltd (CRJE) and Tanzania's state-run National Housing Corporation.
The satellite city, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, will be a self-contained urban zone equipped with water, electricity, roads, banks, schools and hospitals. It is designed to ease congestion in Dar's central business district.
Meanwhile, Tanzania's state-run power company, TANESCO, signed a deal with China’s TBEA Hengyang Transformer Co. for a rural electrification project that Kikwete's office said would be worth "millions of dollars". It did not list a specific value.
Chinese investment in Tanzania has risen dramatically, reaching $2.5 billion at the end of last year, a spokesman for Kikwete said in a separate statement.
In recent years, Chinese companies have signed deals to build a new port, rail network and a 532 km (330 mile) natural gas pipeline. Between July and September of this year, Chinese investments totalled $534 million, compared to $124 million during the same period last year.
Speaking at an investment forum in Beijing on Thursday, Kikwete said he hoped to boost Tanzania's exports to the Asian powerhouse.
China's exports to Tanzania, which totalled $1.099 billion from 2012 to 2013, were roughly double the $495.74 million worth of goods China imported from Tanzania, he said.
"It's obvious we can do better," he said.