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Home NATIONALFinland-Tanzania agree to continue cooperation
Fri, 31 Jan, 2014 03:29:32 AM
Finland keens to join natural resources development: PM
FTimes Report, January 31
File picture of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. Photo Lehtikuva.
Finland and Tanzania on Thursday agreed on the form of their future cooperation on various issues including ensuring good governance, availability of basic public services, promoting sustainable use of natural resources, especially in the forestry sector of the African country.
The two governments reached the agreement during the visit of Finland Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto to Tanzania.
According to Haavisto, Tanzania has progressed considerably, said an official press release.
“Cooperation between Finland and Tanzania has continued for over 50 years - that is to say that Tanzania was one of our first cooperation partners in Africa,” Prime Minister Katainen said, adding that with the extensive natural gas discoveries, the Tanzanian economy is going through a significant transition. 
File picture of Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. Photo Lehtikuva.
Katainen said Finland was most obviously interested in examining the possibilities of participating in the responsible development of the Tanzanian natural resources sector. 
“Our good relations and long-term cooperation will facilitate the building up of good trade relations. Tanzania, and the whole of East Africa, provide potential markets for Finnish industries - and even more so if the progress in regional integration continues,” the prime minister added.
“Due to the abundance of natural resources, excellent geographic position and favourable climate, there are every chance for Tanzania to develop into a country with descent income,” said Haavisto.
The minister, however, said it was necessary to bear in mind that the anticipated gas revenues would not start coming before several years from now. 
“Tanzania must exploit its natural resources in a sustainable manner with regards to both its environment and people, and channel the ensuing revenue to benefit the whole nation uniformly. An important element in this will be the development of a well-functioning tax system,” Haavisto said.
Development cooperation between Finland and Tanzania will focus on how to improve good governance and the availability of basic public services, promoting sustainable use of natural resources, strengthening entrepreneurship in the fields of agriculture and forestry, and enhancing the preconditions and capacity of the information society development.
One third of Finnish aid to Tanzania goes in the form of direct budget support. During the visit, Minister Haavisto signed an agreement for the provision of general budget support from Finland to Tanzania. A cooperation programme on private forestry sector was also launched.
Prime Minister Katainen and Minister for International Development Haavisto visited Ethiopia and Tanzania along with a delegation of representatives from more than twenty Finnish businesses. 
Ethiopia and Tanzania are Finland’s long-term development cooperation partners. During the visit, the ministers held meetings with the countries’ highest political leadership, members of the government and leading business groups. The schedule also includes a meeting with the leaders of the African Union.
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