Tanzania, Iran sign memo on investments

ARUSHA – Tanzania and Iran on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding for the promotion and protection of investments in both countries.

"This memorandum will not only bring about a conducive business and investment environment, but it is also a good sign of our countries' historical relations," Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe said.

At a joint press briefing with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Membe said he expected business between Tanzania and Iran to pick up significantly in the future.

"Businesspeople and investors from the two countries will be free to invest directly or through partnerships," Membe said.

The memorandum was signed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city.

Zarif was on an African tour that – along with Tanzania – took him to a host of other East African states.

Membe said uranium had been discovered in some parts of Tanzania, noting that his country could benefit from Iran's experience in this regard, given the Islamic republic's expertise in the field.

He expects that the construction, education and health sectors will be the top recipients of investment between the two countries in the days to come.

"Like other African countries, Tanzania needs Iran for development projects," Membe said. "It's our hope that negotiations between Iran and western countries on economic sanctions will be fruitful."

He said Tanzania had a "great opportunity" to enjoy its historical relations with Iran.

According to Minister Membe, Tanzania has also asked Tehran to waive Tanzania's debts to Iran, which stand at more than $77 million.

"In the days coming, we are planning to send a delegation to Iran to negotiate this," revealed Membe.

Zarif, for his part, said his country was not only committed and ready to cooperate with Tanzania, but also with all African countries.

"Iran will work together with African countries in development projects, as well as in the promotion of peace and security," Zarif said.

He said his country would also cooperate with other countries in the fight against terrorism and money laundering.

"We are committed to seeing a peaceful world with equality for all," Zarif said.

"This can only be achieved by working together to counter internal and cross-border crimes," he added.

The Iranian foreign minister visited Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi before arriving in Tanzania on Jan. 4.

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