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Tanzania president hails Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as 'great initiative'
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by Guo Chunju

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Saturday said that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is a "great initiative" as it serves as the structure for the two sides to work together.

Kikwete made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the State House in Dar es Salaam, noting that the forum is " quite useful" and expressing his satisfaction with the way that the forum is working.

He mentioned that the fourth ministerial meeting of the forum is scheduled to be held in November in Egypt.

"With the latest progress and development between Africa and China, the two sides can consolidate solidarity through the forum so that the two sides can develop relations from strength to strength."

As for the development of bilateral relations between China and Tanzania, Kikwete hailed the two countries as the "best friends" whose friendship is "excellent," expecting the two sides to enhance cooperation in agriculture, industry and manufacturing, housing and financial operations.

He emphasized that in the political front the bilateral relations have been consolidated through the high-level exchange visits of the two countries, including his visits to China and Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao's separate visit to Tanzania, and the two sides have supported each other in many international affairs

Kikwete also expects China to increase trade and investment in Tanzania, which is struggling to create economic growth and "a big hunger for capital" and investment. He also praised Chinese companies' contribution to construction of road projects and power supply in Tanzania among others.

On China's opening up and reform policy in the past over 30 years, the president hailed the important role of the policy to the "phenomenon of growth in China" from a predominant agricultural economy to "an industrial giant" and one of the world's largest economies.

Without the opening up policy, it will take a long time for China to modernize agriculture, technology and military, according to Kikwete.

The president also expressed the possibility that China could be the country to revive the world economy as the international financial crisis is affecting many countries negatively.

The nearly 49-year-old president also recalled his many visits to China's Beijing, Nanjing and Shenzheng since 1980s, elaborating the great changes in China. He hailed China as "amazing", which shows a model of development of peace.

On the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, Kikwete sent his "hear-to- heart congratulations" to China and the Chinese people, wishing China greater achievements in the future as an important partner for Tanzania, Africa and the world.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2009)


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