Chinese investment hailed as essential driver of Ethiopia's economic development

ADDIS ABABA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Officials have commended Chinese investment in Ethiopia as an essential driver of economic development in the East African country. The acclaim was made on the margins of the Beijing-Ethiopia Business Cooperation Promotion Conference held Friday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Mesenbet Shenkute, president of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, said Chinese companies have been playing key roles in speeding up Ethiopia's economic development through building several mega infrastructure projects including railways, expressways, suspension bridges and skyline buildings.

"Chinese firms' engagement in the development of industrial parks, sugar factories, hydropower dams, wind power plants, substation and transmission lines, and many others is the outcome of the long-standing ties between Ethiopia and China," said Shenkute in an interview with Xinhua.

China is the major supplier of products to Ethiopia, including machinery, equipment, medicine and consumer goods while it imports a significant portion of Ethiopia's agricultural products such as coffee, leather, oil seeds and flowers, according to Shenkute.

Noting that China remains the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ethiopia, Shenkute said Chinese companies are investing in modern industrial parks in Ethiopia, including in the eastern industrial zone which is the catalyst for economic development and creating job opportunities for local citizens.

Semereta Sewasew, Ethiopia's state minister of Finance for Economic Cooperation, said that Ethiopia cherishes China as its strategic partner which has greatly contributed to its economic development over the past decades.

China stands tall as a strategic partner to Ethiopia, and presently Chinese companies are undertaking many investment projects amounting to nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars in Ethiopia and creating over half a million local jobs, said Sewasew.

She said Ethio-Chinese development strategies have proven to be complementary and emphasize mutual benefits, equality, fairness and inclusiveness.

The state minister called on Chinese companies to further deepen their investment engagement in Ethiopia, taking advantage of the far-reaching economic and political reforms that the government of Ethiopia has embarked on recently to attract foreign and private investments into the country.

According to the state minister, Ethiopia is keen to further strengthen its strategic partnership with China in trade and investment, green energy development, digital economy, health and other fields.

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