Beijing holds business promotion conference in Ethiopia to augment trade, investment ties

  • World
  • Sunday, 23 Jun 2024

ADDIS ABABA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Beijing-Ethiopia business cooperation promotion conference was held Friday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with a call to further augment trade and investment ties between China and Ethiopia.

The conference, which gathered leaders of hundreds of Chinese and Ethiopian enterprises, served as a platform to look into the extensive potential for trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking at the event, Ethiopia's State Minister of Finance for Economic Cooperation Semereta Sewasew said Ethio-Chinese economic cooperation is based on the principles of mutual benefits, respect and trust between the two nations, greatly contributing to Ethiopia's rapid economic growth.

"Over the past two decades, Chinese firms have successfully implemented more than 70 large and medium projects including two railway projects, power substations and transmission lines and modernization of telecommunication," Sewasew said.

Noting that the Ethio-Chinese economic cooperation began in 1971, the state minister said Ethiopia has accomplished mega projects with the full support of China which include expressways, airport terminals and various manufacturing industries.

She said the Chinese government has been financing development projects in Ethiopia mainly in the form of grants besides lending a helping hand to green development, food security, building hospitals, and offering medical supplies.

Gebeyehu Ganga, director general of the Middle East, Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said China's unwavering diplomatic commitment to collaborating with Ethiopia has borne fruits through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

"China has been the largest trading partner with Ethiopia and top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all FDI inflow into the country," Ganga said.

He said with strong support from China and other member states of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Ethiopia's inclusion into the BRICS mechanism will undoubtedly expand its business exchanges and create larger investment opportunities in the East African country.

Yang Yihang, minister counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said by May 2024, Chinese enterprises had participated in more than 2,000 projects in Ethiopia, with a total investment amounting to 5 billion U.S. dollars and creating about 610,000 job opportunities.

"In the first five months of this year, Chinese enterprises invested over 200 million U.S. dollars in about 100 projects in Ethiopia, creating more than 18,000 local jobs," Yang said.

Indicating that Ethio-Chinese diplomatic relations elevated to the all-weather strategic partnership in October 2023, Yang said there will be a great potential for future cooperation between Beijing and Ethiopia in modern agriculture, biotechnology, infrastructure development, digital economy and operation of industrial parks.

The conference, hosted by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-Council and Beijing Chamber of International Commerce, also saw the signing of memoranda of Understanding among Chinese and Ethiopian enterprises, aiming at enhancing their business relations, exchanging data and information and organizing joint trade fairs and exhibitions in the future.

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