Guardian, Dar Es Salaam
Tanzania, Comoros sign trade agreement
3 April 2006
By Patrick Kisembo
The governments of Tanzania and the Comoros have signed a trade agreement to facilitate economic development in the two countries.
The agreement was signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro for Tanzania and Aboudou Soefou for the Comoros Islands.
The ceremony, which took place at Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam yesterday, was witnessed by the presidents of Tanzania and the Comoros Islands a few minutes before the visiting head of state flew out after five-day visit in the country.
A joint communiqu� issued at the end of the state visit of President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros Islands and read by Dr Migiro stressed the importance of enhancing economic co-operation of the two countries.
’Areas such as investments, trade, health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, research, tourism and higher education are of great concern to the two countries to underscore the need to enhance economic co-operation,’ Dr Migiro said.
She said that the two presidents directed their ministries of foreign affairs to co-ordinate the activities to establish the planned Joint Permanent Commission.
Responding to why the two countries were signing only a trade agreement and leaving out many areas of common interest, President Jakaya Kikwete said trade is a crucial matter to either country.
’We have done this to facilitate the ongoing trade between the two countries.
It is known that the Comoros buy a lot of cattle at Pugu Market and when they come the prices always go up.
So this is an urgent issue that should be addressed,’ President Kikwete said.
The President said that other areas of interest would be dealt with following the establishment of JPC.
’We shall incorporate other areas of common interest in JPC, which is the umbrella agreement in furthering our co-operation. It will become a protocol,’ Kikwete said.
The two presidents urged the private sectors of the two countries to play a leading role in promoting bilateral economic co-operation and serve as the engine of economic growth and development.
’In this connection, the two presidents urged business communities in the two countries to find ways of increasing the volume of trade between the two states,’ Dr Migiro said.
She said that the two presidents recommended the establishment of special livestock centres to ensure that generally accepted standards are observed.
Commenting on his tour, President Azali Assouman commended the steps taken by the two governments to hammer out a comprehensive trade agreement.