Birla follows up Modi visit to Tanzania to deepen IOR ties

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By Our special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 19: After the 2016 visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla led a high level delegation to Tanzania amid deepening of ties with the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) nation. India has historical and cultural bonds with the maritime nations, and Birla’s visit has illustrated India’s commitment for partnership of equality with Tanzania.

“India and Tanzania are important maritime nations in the Indian Ocean Region. Historical relations between the two maritime nations have developed over centuries on the basis of mutual political understanding, deep faith in democratic systems, and multifaceted economic-commercial relations,” Birla remarked during his interactions in Dar-es-Salaam.

India and Tanzania have been exchanging high level visits, as the two nations seek to deepen ties for energy and food security, while also working for global challenges such as climate change. India’s partnership of the Indian Ocean Region nations is curated with development programmes for the needs of the local people. While China has sought to trap the nations in the IOR with its debt-trap strategy, India in contrast has been extending support for development partnership, which is beneficial for the local people.

Mentioning that trade and investment between the two countries have grown over the years, Birla noted India is investing in Tanzania in diverse sectors like ports, health services, agro-processing and small scale enterprises. “Water sector projects are also underway in Tanzania and Zanzibar. Tanzanian Students have obtained higher education in many universities of India. Defense partnership between India and Tanzania has grown significantly over the years,” said Birla, who during his visit held bilateral meetings with the top leadership of the IOR nation. Birla led an Indian Parliamentary delegation.

For the first time, many remarkable achievements have been made in areas such as bilateral defense expo and training programs for capacity building, said Birla, adding that “we look forward to further development of cooperation and mutual partnership between the two countries in the defence arena in the future”.

He also noted that the Indian-origin community in Tanzania forms an important link between the people of the two countries. The Indian community has assimilated within Tanzania for centuries and are contributing to the economic development of the country, working alongside Tanzanians, stressed Birla.

It may be noted that India offers 700 scholarships to Tanzanian students annually. Birla also paid floral tributes to Indian soldiers who had laid down their lives in Tanzania during the first World War. Abot 300 Indian soldiers are cremated in different parts of the country.

Indian Parliamentary Delegation also called on Prime Minister of Tanzania Kassim Majaliwa. Birla also met members of Indian business community and apprised them of the enabling business environment in India. Most of the members of business community come to India for education and then come back to Tanzania for business and investment, said Birla.

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