New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-run exploration and production company ONGC, has expressed interest in bidding in the next round of licensing for seven offshore and one onshore oil and gas blocks in Tanzania.
A commerce ministry statement Thursday said the matter came up for discussions between the Minister of State for Commerce D. Purandeswari, and Tanzanian Industry and Trade Minister, Abdallah O. Kigoda, at Dar-es-Salaam during the 3rd meeting of the Tanzania-India Joint Trade Committee on Wednesday.
Both the ministers agreed to double the volume of bilateral trade in the next two years and to reduce the trade imbalance, which is currently in favour of India, the statement said.
Bilateral trade between the countries stood at $2.12 billion in 2012.
The statement also said that in response to the Indian request for revoking the ban on export of rough Tanzanite stone imposed by Tanzania, the Tanzanian side assured the matter will be considered.
"The Indian delegation also agreed to consider the Tanzanian request to establish a gemology institute in Tanzania and offered help in capacity building by training master craftsmen of Tanzania," it said.
During the meeting, Purandeswari raised the issue of high cost of resident work permits levied by Tanzanian authorities.
Indian companies are investing in Tanzania in various sectors including agriculture, construction, financial services, manufacturing, mining, tourism, telecommunications and transport.
From 1990 to June 2013, investment by Indian companies in Tanzania is estimated to be $1.91 billion.
The infrastructure projects in Tanzania set up with Indian initiative, are a 200 MW gas-based Combined Cycle Power Project, a Wind Power Project and the Dry Port Project.
India has also agreed to cooperate with Tanzania for rehabilitation and modernisation of the Tanzania Railway system, it added.
Purandeswari also inaugurated the "India Show" in Dar-es-Salaam organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in collaboration with the commerce ministry from Sep 25 to 27, with the theme 'Nurturing Growth, Enhancing Partnerships'.