Quality development of China’s economy brings opportunities to China-Tanzania cooperation

Workers assemble new energy vehicles at an automobile company in Liuzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Aug. 12, 2021. PHOTO | XINHUA

What you need to know:

  • The bilateral trade between China and Tanzania has developed rapidly, with the trade volume reaching $6.74 billion, up 47.1 per  cent year on year. Among them, Tanzania’s exports to China amounted to $606 million, up 47.3 per cent year on year, and the growth rate was faster than the average level in Africa

In 2021, in the face of multiple challenges including complicated international environment and Covid-19 epidemic, the Chinese government adhered to the general tone of steady progress, scientifically coordinated epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, sustained recovery and development of the national economy, which resulted in new strides in building a new development pattern, and achieved new results with high-quality development.
In 2021, China’s GDP was 114.4 trillion yuan (about $18 trillion), an increase of 8.1 per cent year on year, and the growth rate ranked at the forefront among the world’s major economies. Foreign exchange reserves have remained above $3.2 trillion for eight consecutive months, and international payments is basically balanced. Grain production has gained another bumper harvest, which has remained above 650 million tons for six consecutive years. New industries and new formats thrived, and the added value of high-tech manufacturing increased by 18.2 per cent year on year. Residents’ income growth basically keeps pace with economic growth, and input into people’s livelihood keeps increasing, with investment in education and health increasing by 11.7 per cent and 24. 5 per cent respectively.
In 2021, China’s total import and export of goods was 39.1 trillion yuan (about $6.1 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 21.4 per cent. The export scale and international market share reached a record high, and the total trade of goods ranked first in the world for five consecutive years. The annual outbound direct investment was 936.7 billion yuan, of which the investment in countries along the “Belt and Road” increased by 7.9 per cent, and the tax paid to the host country exceeded $6.6 billion, creating 392,000 local jobs. New breakthroughs have been made in bilateral economic and trade relations, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement came into effect as scheduled. Major aid measures have been implemented, with more than 1,000 aid projects implemented throughout the year, effectively providing more than 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 107 countries and 4 international organisations.
At present, countries around the world are still faced with two arduous tasks, which are pandemic control and economic recovery. The high-quality development of China’s economy has provided momentum and confidence for global and African economic recovery. According to the data of the International Monetary Fund, China’s GDP accounted for 18 per cent of the world economy in 2021, and its contribution to the development of the world economy has steadily increased year after year. At the same time, China’s steady economic development has also brought more development opportunities to African countries’ post-pandemic economic recovery.
First, it provides a larger market for African countries’ commodity exports. According to Chinese statistics, in 2021, the bilateral trade volume between China and Africa reached $254.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 35. 3 per cent, reaching the highest level in the same period in history. The bilateral trade between China and Tanzania has developed rapidly, with the trade volume reaching $6.74 billion, up 47.1 per  cent year on year. Among them, Tanzania’s exports to China amounted to $606 million, up 47.3 per cent year on year, and the growth rate was faster than the average level in Africa.
Second, it provides more opportunities for African countries to attract foreign investment and accelerates the process of industrialization. In 2021, the flow of China’s direct investment in Africa across all sectors exceeded $3.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent. In the same period, China’s direct investment in Tanzania in non-financial sectors was $53.75 million. In November 2021, Maweni Limestone Limited acquired and reconstructed by China Huaxin Cement went into production successfully, becoming the second largest cement manufacturer in Tanzania, with an annual output of 1.5 million tons, which provided important support for the industrialisation of Tanzania.
Third, it creates favorable conditions for African countries to improve infrastructure and investment environment. In 2021, Chinese enterprises signed new contracted projects in Africa with an amount of $77.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent. In Tanzania, the upgrade project of the Dar Port and Terminal 3 of  the Karume International Airport undertaken by Chinese contractors have been successfully completed, and several major projects such as the 5th phase of the SGR, the Nyerere Hydropower Station and the Magufuli Bridge have been steadily advanced, making important contributions to the improvement of Tanzania’s infrastructure and investment environment.
Fourth, it provides effective assistance for African countries to solve the employment problem. According to Chinese statistics, Chinese enterprises have created more than 4.5 million jobs for African countries, of which about 150,000 are in Tanzania. China has also provided training for African countries and promoted youth employment by helping establishing vocational schools, providing scholarships for studying and short-term training in China.
Last November, the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully held, which achieved a series of fruitful results, demonstrating the firm determination of China and Africa to seek common development, meet challenges and share opportunities in the new era. In June 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan had a telephone conversation, in which the two heads of state reached a series of important consensus on deepening the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Tanzania. We will work with Tanzania, guided by the important consensus of the heads of two countries, take the implementation of the outcome of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC as an opportunity, and take the traditional friendship between China and Tanzania as a link, vigorously carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship, make full use of the new opportunities brought by the high-quality development of China’s economy to the development of Tanzania, strengthen the integration of development strategies between the two countries, enhance the level of pragmatic cooperation, push forward the comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Tanzania, and make greater contributions to building a community of shared future between China and Africa in the new era.
(The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania.)