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Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the South Africa - Tanzania Business Forum, CSIR Convention Centre, Tshwane

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Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

High Commissioners of South Africa and Tanzania,

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa, Mr Ebrahim Patel,

Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of Tanzania, Hon Dr Ashatu Kijaji,

Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Representatives of business from Tanzania and South Africa,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It my great pleasure to welcome President Hassan, her delegation and the business delegation from Tanzania to our beautiful country.

Over the past three days, government representatives at senior official and ministerial level have held discussions on political, diplomatic, defence and security matters, social and cultural affairs, as well as economic matters.

Earlier today, President Hassan and I co-chaired the 2nd Bi-National Commission between our two countries.

We found common ground on practical measures we need to take to forge a new partnership aimed at enhancing and increasing our bilateral trade and investment relations.

This partnership is founded on a friendship that stretches back many decades, when the people of Tanzania stood alongside the people of South Africa in our struggle to end apartheid and establish a democratic society.

The ties between our countries are firm and enduring.  

Since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1994 and we established the Bi-National Commission in 2011, bilateral trade and investment between our two countries has continued to grow.

If one excludes gold, exports from South Africa to Tanzania increased from $177 million in 1995 to $459 million in 2021.

And Tanzania’s exports to South Africa increased from $4.5 million in 1995 to $30 million in 2021.

Alongside this trade is a significant value chain through which Tanzanian gold is refined in South Africa for sale to central banks and other customers around the world.

This gold trade alone was worth around $880 million in 2021.

South Africa is a major investor in Tanzania.

Between 1997 and 2022, South African companies have invested in a total of 250 projects, valued at US$ 1 billion, which have created more than 18,000 jobs in Tanzania.

The projects cover sectors like agriculture, construction and real estate, telecommunications, financial services, transportation, manufacturing, mining and petroleum, tourism, energy infrastructure, services and broadcasting.

There is still much scope for South Africa and Tanzania to strengthen cooperation in these sectors and to expand into other sectors, such as minerals beneficiation, health care and pharmaceuticals, and infrastructure development.

South Africa and Tanzania are both State Parties to the SADC Free Trade Agreement, which governs trade relations between our two countries.

It is crucial that we leverage the SADC Free Trade Agreement to increase mutually beneficial trade flows.

To achieve this goal, we need deeper and more meaningful dialogue between our respective private sectors.

We have convened this Business Forum to encourage the private sector to make practical suggestions about the basket of products that should be targeted for trade under preferential terms.

We need to transform the structure of trade relations with each other and with the rest of the world.

For example, between 2019 and 2021, South Africa imported $68 million worth of certain significant categories of goods from Tanzania, while it imported $4.8 billion of the same set of products from the rest of the world.

During the same period, Tanzania imported $1 billion worth of certain significant categories of goods from South Africa, while importing $14 billion of the same set of products from the rest of the world.

We are buying goods from other countries that we could be buying from each other.

We are creating jobs in other countries that we could be creating in South Africa and Tanzania.

We must therefore make a concerted effort to increase the supply of ‘Made in South Africa’ and ‘Made in Tanzania’ goods into each other’s markets.

I look forward to today’s deliberations.

It is our desire to build on the solid relations between our two countries and to harness our collective capabilities to forge a new deal for the mutual benefit of all our people.

Asante sana.

I thank you.