Addis Ababa February 14/2023 /ENA/ Ethiopia and Pakistan have signed trade agreement that enables the countries to work cooperatively and strengthen their trade relationship today.
Trade and Regional Integration State Minister Kassahun Gofe and Pakistan Ministry of Commerce Secretary General Muhammad Sualeh Faruqi signed the agreement.
At the signing ceremony, the state minister said the purpose of signing this agreement is to enable the government of the two countries to work cooperatively to further strengthen trade relationship.
According to him, the governments of the two countries have made consultations on ways of strengthening their trade and economic relations and agreed to sign a bilateral trade agreement with the view to cultivating mutual trade.
“I strongly believe that the signing of this trade agreement is a good platform to establish a joint trade committee meeting and consult on measures that ensure the development of the two countries and reduce trade barriers,” the state minister added.
The agreement is expected to create a conducive environment for the business communities of the two countries to have information on business opportunities, organize trade promotion programs, and explore trade potentials.
Ethiopia will take prompt action to expedite the ratification process of this agreement and then fully enforce it as soon as possible and we hope the Government of Pakistan will also do its best to effect this agreement, Kassahun stated.
The annual average trade exchange value of the countries in the past five years was about 71.8 million USD, of which Ethiopia’s export and import constituted 14.3 million USD and 57.5 million USD respectively.
As this figure shows that the trade turnover of the two countries has not steadily grown the trade exchange can be highly expanded both in volume and diversification of tradeable goods if they establish platform that would help to promote exportable products and facilitate the linkage between the exporters and importers of those products, the state minister noted.
Pakistan’s Secretary General for Ministry of Commerce, Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqi said on his part that the agreement provides for cooperation in the fields of standards and elimination of non-tariff barriers.
The establishment of a joint trade committee and a joint business council under the agreement will pave the way for more frequent and structure business-to-business interaction between the two countries.
Moreover, the secretary general elaborated that this agreement shows a strong commitment from both sides to enhance trade and economic cooperation between the countries.
“Finalization of this trade agreement is a welcome development and that will prove to be instrumental in gaining meaningful market access and activation of effective institutional mechanism.”
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Shazab Abbas, who attended the signing ceremony virtually told ENA that this is a milestone achievement in the relationship of the two countries.
“I hope that after the signing of this landmark agreement between the two countries the existing level of trades will definitely increase to a new height.”
The ambassador pointed out that this is the one of the very important agreement which was on the top agenda of the Government of Pakistan. “When I was coming here, they have given this task to get done.”