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Monday, February 25, 2013

Hon. Membe's speech during the Tanzania-Oman JPC Meeting

Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation gives his opening remarks during the Meeting of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation between Tanzania and Oman.  The meeting has been held since 24 February, 2013 at Hyatt Regency (Kilimanjaro) Hotel in Dar es Salaam and is expected to be concluded today. 

Delegation from Oman listening to Hon. Membe's opening remarks.

Tanzania Delegation that included Government and Private Institutions also were in attendance.


Honourable Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman,
Honorable Ministers from the United Republic of Tanzania,
Honorable Ministers accompanying the Head of Delegation of Oman,
Distinguished Senior Officials of both Delegation
Distinguished Delegates from Tanzania and Oman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome home Honourable Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman and your delegation to Tanzania, and to this First Joint Permanent Commission between the United Republic of Tanzania and the Sultanate of Oman.
Tanzania is both second and first home to some of Omani’s generations. History reminds us that once the headquarters of the Sultanate of Oman was in Zanzibar. The legacy and influence of Omani presence is well traced in both Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland. We share the history, Swahili language and many cultural aspects. Today we are determined to share prosperity and the future.

            Distinguished Delegates
This first meeting of the Joint Permanent Commission between Tanzania and Oman is indeed a testimony of a renewed interest by our Governments of Tanzania and Oman. Our two countries share long cultural, historical and blood relations. We have cooperating very well informally for centuries. It is about time to formalize our relations through this formal commission, a rightful legal framework to ensure our cooperation further enhanced and strengthened.
As we are all aware a more fruitful cooperation between any two countries highly depends on a properly structured legal framework that binds the two countries together. We therefore call this meeting to chart out thematic discussions on issues of common concern and interest to our two brotherly countries such as, Housing, Water Supply, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Transport, Infrastructure, Health, Natural Resources, Tourism, Trade, Industry, Energy and Minerals, Education and Labour Matters.

Distinguished Delegates
The memories of the successful State Visit of H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania in the Sultanate of Oman in October, 2012, are still very fresh to us. On that visit, the two sides signed three (3) Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. These include:
  • Agreement on Investment Promotion and Reciprocal Protection;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Archives;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Establishment of Joint Business Council so as to facilitate and speed up investment and business between our two brotherly countries.
Internal negotiations are continuing at different stages in regard to the other bilateral agreements and Memorandum of Understanding between our Governments are in different status. The completion and signing of these agreements are crucial towards putting in place a strong foundation for cooperation in different sectors. I therefore urge our two sides to expedite the negotiation process so that we can sign the MoUs at our earliest opportunity. These remaining draft agreements and Memoranda are:-

a)    The Draft Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations between Oman and the United Republic of Tanzania:
b)    The Draft Agreement on Higher Education between the United Republic of Tanzania and Oman.
c)     The Draft Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Fiscal Evasion:
d)    The Draft Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Cooperation between the United Republic of Tanzania and Oman:
e)    The Draft Agreement on labour Matters.

Your Excellency and Distinguished Delegates
The Government of Tanzania very much welcomed the introduction of the Oman Air Service to Dar es Salaam on 3rd June, 2010, as a result of the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between our two countries. We are glad to note that the Airline increased the frequency of flights from just a few per week to daily services. It is no doubt that we will record in near future increased contacts between our peoples.

Distinguished Delegates
Official records of trade between Tanzania and Oman stood is by all account low. This statistics is definitely missing the blossoming informal trade between our people, as a result of long existing family ties.
I would like to therefore urge our two countries to make concerted efforts to use the said legal framework to create an enabling environment in which public and private sector entities can invest in each other’s economy. The strategic competitive advantages on the Oman side (ample capital and technical know-how) if combined with the huge comparative advantages (land, natural resources and labour force) on the Tanzania side, will create the required synergy for sustainable development and mutual economic benefit to both sides.

 I would like also to renew our Government’s invitation to Omani business people to invest in the various sectors of our economy. I assure that Tanzania has a very conducive investment regime that is among the best in the region. Tanzania should be a launch pad for Oman business and investment to the South and East Africa markets.  Investing in Tanzania gives you access to the SADC Region and as well as to the East African Community member countries, with a 200 million market population.   I also urge the Government of Oman to open its doors and allow Tanzanian good and services to enter into the Omani economy.

Your Excellency
To that effect, closer co-operation between the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) and Zanzibar Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and their Omani counterpart should therefore, be encouraged through the Joint Business Council between the two countries as this would boost up trade and investments and further strengthen these ties.  

Your Excellency
It is quite difficult to explain the strong relations between Oman and Tanzania in a one speech, rather in volume of books. It suffices to take this opportunity to reiterate Tanzania’s confidence in our relations, and our resolve to deepening and strengthening them for the good of our successive generations. We remain grateful to H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for their blessings and personal support to strengthen the relations between our two countries.
With this few remarks I once again say to our dear Omani brothers
“karibuni sana mujisikie mko nyumbani ndugu zetu wa Oman”.


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