Local residents walk on the platform of a light rail station constructed by the China Railway Group (CREC).
By Abebe Woldegiorgis
The Ethio -China business and trade relations is currently flourishing and for the furtherance of the relations investors from both countries pledged to utilize the existing opportunities for mutual benefit.
Opening the largest China – Ethiopia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum organized by Guandong Province Department of Commerce and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) yesterday, Dr. Arkebe Ekubay Special Advisor to the Prime Minister with the Rank of Minster said that there are many opportunities for Chinese investors to engage in various sectors such as manufacturing and infrastructural development.
He further said that as the second most populous nation in the continent, Ethiopia could attract foreign investment because the population is an economic asset both as producer and consumer. The expansion of higher education in the country for the last two decades enabled the nation to supply trained man power to the labour market which investors could employ with fair wage.
According to Dr. Arkebe, the already flourishing road infrastructure, energy, telecommunication and efficient custom authority could attract FDI. To meet its development aspiration, the country needs vibrant manufacturing sector to produce export-oriented products, substitute import and create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands.
Guangdong Province Governor Zhu Xiaodan on his pat said to strengthen trade and economic and cooperation with Ethiopia a Consulate General was opened there in 2009. He further said that presently China is the largest investment source and the biggest trade partner to Ethiopia in which Guangdong plays an important role.
From 2010 to 2015 Guangdong’s trade with Ethiopia grew from 114 million USD to 1.59 billion USD with annual growth of 78.6 per cent.
ECCSA President Solomon Afework also said Ethiopian export to China has been steadily increasing over time although not diversified. Coffee, oil seeds and leather are the major export items.
About 150 investors and traders from both countries attended the meeting that mainly discussed issues such as trade, information technology equipment, house – hold appliances,and also involving Chinese investors in the construction,tourism and agricultural sectors.