Ethiopia and China seek further potential for economic cooperation – ENA English

Addis Ababa June 21, 2024 (ENA) Officials from Ethiopia and China have outlined great potential for economic cooperation between the two countries’ businesses.

The Ethio-China Business Cooperation Promotion Conference, held today in Addis Ababa, underlined the enormous potential for economic cooperation between Ethiopia and China.

The conference brought together more than 200 participants, representing companies from both countries, with the aim of exploring opportunities to strengthen economic ties, it said.

In his opening speech, Industry Minister Hassan Mohamed highlighted the unique opportunities to deepen mutual ties between Ethio and China for growth.

For him, the conference is an important milestone to open doors to a deeper era of cooperation, bilateral relations and mutual economic growth. Ethiopia is implementing structural reforms to adjust the macroeconomic imbalance that has led to market imperfections, he explained.

To permanently address the challenges and ensure sustainable economic growth, the Minister of State pointed out that improved agricultural productivity and production are an important driver for structural transformation.

“Our efforts are also aimed at building a strong background linkage by improving agricultural production and inputs, encouraging large-scale commercial production of agro-inputs, and promoting stronger linkages between agriculture and industrial parks.”

According to him, this offers Chinese investors lucrative opportunities to invest in the agro-processing industry and related infrastructure, leveraging Ethiopia’s vast agricultural potential to support a robust manufacturing base.

The Government is committed to increasing the productivity of businesses and workers by encouraging, improving technical and vocational training programs, improving working conditions and developing robust industrial relations, he reaffirmed.

Accordingly, these bold measures by the government would benefit Chinese companies operating in Ethiopia with a productive workforce, supported by training programs and affordable labor practices.

He also mentioned the Ease of Doing Business initiatives that the government has recently expanded on. According to Hassan, the initiatives address cross-cutting challenges, including the business licensing process, logistics hurdles and power supply, and strengthen policy and regulatory support.

The ministry also creates more favorable environments for manufacturing companies. “Chinese investors will discover an increasingly streamlined and supportive business environment, reducing operational risks and costs,” he said.

As the government recently promotes effective public-private dialogue mechanisms, the Minister of State said this creates opportunities for Chinese companies to engage in joint research and development.

Moreover, the Minister of State recalled that the Council of Ministers of Ethiopia recently approved a new industrial policy and that this policy provides a comprehensive framework to guide efforts to transform the manufacturing industry.

“For Chinese investors, this policy framework provides a stable, predictable and supportive environment, facilitating long-term investment and growth.”

He also mentioned the national movement “Made in Ethiopia” to address the challenges faced by manufacturers to increase productivity, create jobs and increase the sector’s contribution to GDP.

“This initiative is in line with our National Manufacturing Industrial Policy and Ten-Year Development Plan aimed at overcoming challenges in Ethiopia’s manufacturing sector and generating positive impacts on related sectors.”

Within the Ministry of Industry, we have prioritized several initiatives to support the manufacturing sector. This includes our industry linkage strategy, performance-based package, import substitution strategy and implementation, export promotion, capacity utilization, support for raw material facilitation projects, and attraction of domestic investors, aftercare of service delivery and resolution of investment problems, he pointed out.

“Chinese investors can benefit from targeted incentives and a robust support system, under proactive government involvement.”

He also invited esteemed representatives of Chinese enterprises to explore these opportunities and forge partnerships that will unlock the full potential of our shared vision for economic prosperity.

“Together we can contribute to the growth and transformation of our economies, create jobs and improve the lives of our people.”

Finally, he urged all stakeholders to seize the historic opportunity and work hand in hand to build a future of shared prosperity, innovation and sustainable development.

Councilor of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, Yang Yihang, expressed his firm belief that there will be great cooperation potential between China and Ethiopia in the future.

“We believe there will be great potential for future cooperation between China and Ethiopia.”

The councilor pointed to agriculture, biotechnology, infrastructure, digitalization and industrial parks as major opportunities for cooperation between the countries.

Chinese enterprises’ investments in Ethiopia have grown, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, he noted.