By the year 2020, the industrial sector will be contributing 15 percent of Tanzania’s GDP, as the East African nation takes advantage of China’s industrialization drive by investing in value-addition,

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Adelhelm Meru, said.

The recent declaration by a senior government official that Tanzania would get the lion’s share of a $20 billion fund set up by China to help African countries to industrialize is the latest signifier of the strong ties between the two countries.

China is one of Tanzania’s biggest trading partners and an increasingly important source of development funds and foreign direct investments. In 2014, the value of Sino-Tanzanian trade surged to about $2.6 billion from negligible levels in 2000.

Currently, the country is implementing phase one of its economic blue print, which began in 2011 titled Unleashing Tanzania Growth Potential.

The value of China’s development finance to Tanzania has also grown substantially in recently years, including $1.2 billion in 2013/14-2014/15 for the construction of the gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam. Moreover, the officially reported stock of Chinese FDI in Tanzania has increased significantly, standing at an estimated value of $60 million in 2013.

China contributed to more than 10 percent of Tanzania’s total exports value and was the third major export destination after India and South Africa.