While a recent warning to Tanzania by the World Bank over the cozying up to China has sparked a backlash from some quarters, it has also re-ignited debate on the sustainability of the country's Look East policy.

Industry stakeholders and local economists have expressed mixed views on the warning contained in the World Bank's latest economic update on Tanzania.

In the report titled, The Road Less Travelled: Unleashing Public-Private Partnerships in Tanzania, the Bank observes that in recent years, the Chinese economy has been slowing down, partly reflecting a rebalancing towards a consumption-driven, services-oriented growth model.

The Bretton Woods institution expressed concerns that the Chinese economy was suffering a major hit at a time Tanzania seems to be overly depending on it for its ambitious industrialisation drive.

It noted: "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

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Huanghe Lou

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