Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete’s State visit to Vietnam from October 26-28 is expected to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Vietnam and Tanzania established their diplomatic ties on February 14, 1965. The Tanzanian leaders have always considered Vietnam an example for oppressed nations, especially those in Africa, and actively supported the Southeast Asian nation during its struggle for national liberation.

Tanzania backed Vietnam to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2008-2009 tenure, and a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 tenure. It also recognised Vietnam as a market economy.

Two-way trade increased from 30-40 million USD in 2009 to 105 million USD last year and 59.7 million USD in the first half of 2014. Vietnam mainly exported rice and clinker to Tanzania while importing cotton, cashew nut and cattle-feed from this market.

Tanzania hopes Vietnamese businesses will produce and sell mini agricultural machines for East African countries and share their experience in rice cultivating and aquatic breeding.

In September 2014, the Tanzanian Government granted a licence to Vietnam’s military-run telecom group Viettel to build and operate a 3G telecommunication network in Tanzania, which is expected to make debut in July next year.

The two countries have signed a number of cooperation deals on trade, economy, and science-technology. They established an inter-governmental committee in December 2004 as well as inked an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders and set up a consultation mechanism between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in March 2010.-VNA