Addis Ababa, August 22, 2022 (Walta) – In connection with the Ethiopia Day, the Ethiopia-Shandong Investment, Trade, Culture, and Tourism Promotion Forum was held in Binzhou City.
Ambassador Teshome Toga, Zhao Zhiyuan, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Temesgen Tilahun, Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Li Yongsen, Deputy Director General of Shandong Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, and Kedir Juhar, Mayor of Dire Dawa City in Ethiopia, all spoke at the forum.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Teshome Toga stated that Ethiopia and China have friendly relations and a long-standing friendship, which has evolved into a strategic partnership. Both countries work together to promote mutual interests and benefits for both peoples, thereby uplifting the living standards of their respective peoples, he added.
The Ambassador mentioned that in the past two years, despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, the business climate in Ethiopia has undergone significant changes with broad policy reforms, which are giving Ethiopian export trade an impetus to expand.
According to the ambassador, the trade exchange between Ethiopia and China is steadily growing. Even though the trade balance is in favor of China, Ethiopia’s exports to China in the 2021 fiscal year grew by eight percent compared to the previous year’s performance.
Ambassador Teshome added that China has now become the eighth largest Ethiopian coffee importer. This is a dramatic increase compared to the previous 33rd rank, and it shows the huge potential market that exists in China and particularly in Shandong for these products, he mentioned.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Zhao Zhiyuan, on his part, pointed out that Ethiopia is a country that plays a great role in the horn of Africa, in the continent of Africa and in the world. According to him, working together Shandong province, which has huge potential in modern agriculture, industrial production, and infrastructure construction, should enhance the mutual benefit of the two countries.
Temesgen Tilahun, Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, on his part, said that the Ethiopian government has introduced a 10-year plan to further enhance, among others, agro-processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, mining, and the digital economy, and to realize these key sectors, he called upon Shandong companies to invest in Ethiopia for mutual benefit.
In the forum, Dire Dawa City with Binzhou City and Dire Dawa University with Binzhou University established a partnership and signed a memorandum of understanding in the online program.