Min. Kijaji, Amb. Ulanga, and all of the esteemed members of the public and private sectors of our two great countries, good morning. I want to thank each of you for coming today and for the role you’ve played in advancing trade and commercial engagement between the U.S. and Tanzania. I especially want to thank my counterpart, and birthday twin Amb. Kanza, the Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S. for her tireless efforts to bring this to the finish line.
Every day is a good day to talk about our trade relationship, but today is an even more significant one, as we’re here today to celebrate the beginning of a new phase in our economic relationship. Today, we are signing the memorandum of cooperation to establish the U.S.-Tanzania commercial dialogue.
This commercial dialogue is a demonstration of the importance that the Government of Tanzania and the U.S. government together place on growing the trade relationship between our countries. At the heart of this commercial dialogue is the commitment – by both governments – to build a stronger, more robust, and equally beneficial trade relationship.
But it is not just an agreement between governments. This MOC underscores the pivotal roles of the public and the private sectors in deepening the trade relationship. This agreement ensures that our companies will play a significant role by providing input and advice on how our two governments can better prepare, assist, and bolster the private sector to expand and to conduct trade.
With us here today is the American Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, the Confederation of Tanzania Industries, the Association of Tanzania Oil & Gas Service Providers and the CEO Roundtable – among others – who we look forward to partnering with – and helping to succeed.
The U.S.-Tanzania bilateral relationship is broad and varied. The U.S. invests in the people of Tanzania through our engagement on health and education. We facilitate cultural exchanges to the U.S. for hundreds of young Tanzanian leaders.
The U.S. is the number one source of tourists to Tanzania outside of Africa. Our companies are exporting high-quality goods that are improving the lives of Tanzanians all over the country. And Americans in the U.S. are benefitting from the products being exported from Tanzania to the U.S. every day.
The foundation of this relationship is already strong, but it’s poised for takeoff. This commercial dialogue will enable us to do just that. The commercial dialogue commits both of our countries to an annual meeting with senior level government and private sector officials.
Through these meetings we have the opportunity for face-to-face dialogue with both public and private stakeholders together. This open dialogue gives us the tools to effectively identify challenges and implement solutions. Together, with technical experts, we are going to collaborate to ensure that the next chapter of this relationship is even more dynamic than the last.
Today may be the official start of this new chapter, but it is by no means the end. We are going to be meeting on a more regular basis, enabling the private sector to lead on growing our bilateral economic and trade relationship.
During my time in Tanzania, I’ve been very impressed with the reforms announced by the government, both economically and politically. It is the U.S.’s strong belief that economic growth and good governance go hand-in-hand. Strong democracies beget strong economies, and vice versa.
As I’ve said many times in the past, Tanzanians, the U.S. has your back. We are proud to partner with Tanzania, which is a regional economic force. We are proud to partner with brilliant young Tanzanians, who are going to transform the world. We are proud to partner with Tanzanian businesses as they continue to expand into international markets. And we are proud to partner with the government of Tanzania on our shared goals of economic prosperity and global peace.
Asanteni sana kwa kuja leo. Mungu ibariki Tanzania. Mungu ibariki Marekani.
Remarks by Ambassador Michael Battle at the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Cooperation to Establish the U.S.-Tanzania Commercial Dialogue.