India and Tanzania have agreed to work on increasing trade in local currencies and expand defence co-operation through a five-year roadmap with New Delhi also offering collaboration in areas of space technologies and digital public infrastructure.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, who is on a four-day official visit to India, had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, where the two leaders announced the elevation of Indo-Tanzania relationship to the level of ‘strategic partnership’.

Six pacts signed

The two sides signed six agreements for cooperation in sectors including digital transformation, culture, sports, maritime industries and white shipping information sharing.

“Tanzania is the biggest and the closest partner of India in the entire Africa,” Modi said.

“Both sides noted that the strategic partnership will help the two countries jointly work on issues like maritime security, defence co-operation, development partnership, trade and investment among others,” per the joint statement issued after the bilateral meeting.

Bilateral trade

The two leaders agreed to expand bilateral trade using local currencies. “They noted that Reserve Bank of India has cleared the way for trade using local currencies i.e. Indian rupee & Tanzanian Shilling by allowing the authorised banks in India to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts of correspondent banks of Tanzania and that transactions using this mechanism have already materialised. The two sides agreed to continue with the consultations in order to address any concerns so as to ensure sustainability of this arrangement,” the statement noted.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the successful second Joint Defence Co-operation Committee meeting held in Arusha in June resulting in a five-year `roadmap for defence cooperation’ between the two countries.

“Through this, new dimensions will be added in areas like military training, maritime cooperation, capacity building, and defence industry,” Modi said.

India offered collaboration in areas of space technologies and digital public infrastructure under India Stack including Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Digital Unique Identity (Aadhar), the statement pointed out.

Modi expressed his enthusiasm at Tanzania deciding to join the Global Biofuels Alliance launched by India at the G20 Summit last month.