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Sunday, 12 July 2015 14:13

Ethiopia: Strengthening Economic Cooperation

By Alazar Shiferaw

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 12, 2015 (Ethiopian Herald) -- Recently, the Ethiopian Investment Commission and Centre for the Promotion of Investments in Cŏte ďIvoire signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which would serve as a guideline in commercial exchanges in implementing joint investment projects and boosting economic cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking at Ethio- Ivorian Business and Investment Forum held at Capital Hotel, Foreign Affairs State Minister Dewano Kedir said, " This is the time for African nations to work together in order to increase trade , investment and cooperation within our Continent. Despite the many challenges we currently face, many African countries are now amongst the fastest growing in the world. Ethiopia and Cŏte ďIvoire must liaise with each other now more than ever to promote strong trade and investment relations. Ethiopia always remains committed to nurturing our existing relations."

Dewano further sad that he would like to encourage Ivorian brothers and sisters to seize the opportunity and take advantage of the many mutually beneficial opportunities Ethiopia has to offer. He also called upon the Ethiopian Business Communities to explore investment and trade opportunities in Cŏte ďIvoire.

Ethiopia is pursuing prudent and sound macro economic policies and is securing appropriate bilateral investment agreements, an avoidance of double taxation treaties with many countries. Private investments in Ethiopia are guaranteed by the constitution and investment code against nationalization and expropriations, he said.

Cŏte ďIvoire Ambassador to Ethiopia Aboua Georges on his part said that the forum would be a way to an invitation for Ethiopian to invest, develop the strong relationship between the two countries. Georges further said that the government with the support of its development partners has been engaged in an ambitious economic growth pogramme spanning for 2012 to 2015 aimed at restoring a consistent and dynamic growth of 10 percent by 2015,he said.

Ethiopia is currently working hard to provide an environmental conducive to the smooth flow of FDI and growth of the private sector. "We have made strides in the development of infrastructure, such as roads and railways, the delivery of health and educational services and the enhancement of the agricultural and energy sector, which has attracted a significant amount of FDI from around the globe. Our wide variety of investment incentives and commitment to further developing the private sector makes Ethiopia an ideal investment location.

Ethio- Ivorian Business and Investment Forum will increase economic, investment and business relations between sisterly countries. This strong partnership will not only boost political relations but also enable us to positively influence one another in areas where we may need each others' support . The levels of investment and trade between our countries have the potential to increase significantly. We must work together to build a productive and long- standing relationship.

" As we all know Ivory- Cost and Ethiopia have fostered strong diplomatic, historic and economic relations for the past fifty years. In 1966, not long after Cŏte ďIvoire achieved independence, we opened embassies input respective capitals and this marked the beginning of significant partnershp," he said.

Historically , our countries have overcome similar trails and tribulations such as the struggle against colonialism and the hardship of civil unrest. The outcome of this business forum will enhance the peace that our countries now enjoy and the prosperity that we are working towards, he said.

Ethiopian Investment Commission Director General Fitsum Arega said that the economy has been growing by double digit in the last 11 years and still expected to grow more. "The secret of this success is the well organized policy and the peoples commitment to it," he said.

Ethiopia aspires to become the leading country in manufacturing in Africa by 2025 where we also working hard to achieve middle income country. African governments together with the Africa Union (AU) and other regional initiatives are working very hard these days to make sure good infrastructure in place.

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) President, Solomon Afework said, "Though the bilateral relation between Ethiopia and the Republic of Cŏte ďIvoire is showing some progress, it needs to be cultivated further. Much effort should be done to further improve the trade and investment relations."

Cŏte ďIvoire has been importing a good amount of wheat and meat from different countries like Ethiopia. Like wise , Ethiopia is importing a huge amount of petroleum and palm oil from different countries in case Cŏte ďIvoire could use this opportunity and should gainfully export to Ethiopia .

Various trade and investment incentives such as duty and quota free rights for importing machineries, spare parts and inputs, exemption from internal taxes, tax holiday and much benefits the country provides ensure trade and investment activities with huge returns.

This kind of dialogue between the officials of the two countries would further cement and cultivate the trade and investment relations of the two countries . Ethiopia is endowed with untapped and immense investment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, livestock, agro- processing , manufacturing, industry , construction real- estate and tourism among others.

The country has registered a double digit growth for almost decade which is one of the highest in Africa and the world at large. This could also be result of feasible economic policy that favors private investment, he said. (END)

 

 
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