Ethiopia, India Explore Ways To Expand Trade, Investment Ties

Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organized a Special Session with the Ambassador of Ethiopia to India, Demeke Atnafu Ambulo, on ‘India-Ethiopia Bilateral Ties and Trade’ today at MCCI Conference Hall.

While welcoming the guests, Mr. Rishabh C. Kothari, Immediate Past President, MCCI in his address highlighted that “India is the second largest trading partner for Ethiopia, accounting for 10.2% of Ethiopia’s global trade. Bilateral trade stood at USD 642.59 million in 2022-23.”

He enquired about the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in ICT, digital payments, renewable energy, infrastructure, and tourism, among others.

He pointed out that India and Ethiopia are planning to collaborate on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with Ethswitch of Ethiopia. “Indian companies are among the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia investing in various sectors like agriculture and floriculture, engineering, plastics, manufacturing, cotton and textiles, water management, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.”

Ambassador Demeke, in his address, mentioned that Ethiopia is the third largest country in the sub-Saharan economy having a GDP-growth rate of 7% in 2023.

“Ethiopia is an investment-friendly country. The country is endowed with an educated labor force, 60-70% of its population is below 35 years old, and have market access to 1.4 billion population of the African economy, cheapest electricity and water rate,” he explained.

There is a huge opportunity to expand and enhance the trade potential between the two countries, he noted.

There is surplus production of hydropower in Ethiopia and the country exports surplus power to its neighboring countries, the Ambassador elaborated.

Ambassador Demeke highlighted 4 priority sectors in Ethiopia namely agriculture, manufacturing, IT, and mining. “The country has now prioritized the agro-processing sector and it is looking for India’s technology in increasing agricultural production. ‘We are looking for investment in commercial farming, like cotton, tea, oilseeds, horticulture, and floriculture,” added Ambassador Demeke.

“Manufacturing plays a vital role in the Ethiopian economy,” he pointed out. The Ambassador mentioned that Ethiopia is inviting investment in specific sectors such as pharmaceutical, textile, and paper.

“Mining is the third priority sector. He informed me that a 510-ton gold mine was discovered in Ethiopia recently,” he indicated.

In the context of Information technology, the Ambassador mentioned that Ethiopia has a huge digital transformation plan for the future, inviting Indian investors to engage in the IT sector of the country.

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