Tanzania and Russia are planning to form a Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) on trade, investment and the economy for the benefits of both countries, it was revealed at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

The plan to form the joint commission was made public when a special Russian delegation led by President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy in charge of African Affairs Mr Mikhail Bogdanov, held talks with President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam.

According to Mr Bogdanov, Russia has a strategic programme of scaling up cooperation with Tanzania and other African countries for the major objective of speeding up development.

The envoy, who also serves as Russian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, told President Magufuli that the agreement for the establishment of the Commission will be signed soon.

He said it was in the best interests of both nations to see resources of both countries benefiting their citizens.

Mr Bogdanov, who visited Tanzania eight years ago, hailed the government for recording enormous achievements within a short period, promising that Russia will scale up bilateral cooperation with Tanzania.

President Magufuli on his part expressed his sincere thanks to President Putin for consolidating good bilateral cooperation with Tanzania, stating that his government acknowledged the importance of such relations.

The President promised to further consolidate the relations between the two countries with special focus on trade, investment, tourism and social services such as health, education and infrastructure.

"I kindly ask you to convey my sincere thanks to President Putin, including informing him that Tanzanians love Russia. We welcome him and other Russians to Tanzania and we ask them to invest in Tanzania because there are abundant investment opportunities here,"

President Magufuli told the envoy. Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba K abudi, said the talks between the two sides went on well, adding that "The joint commission will have significant contributions to the mining sector, gas and tourism, especially during this time when Russia has remarked that Tanzania is a nation endowed with best tourist attractions in the world."

The talks between the two sides were also attended by the Russian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Yuri Popov. Russia and Tanzania established diplomatic missions on December 11, 1961. The bilateral relations are stable and friendly.