Representatives of China’s Fujian province, who are presently in Ethiopia in a bid to explore business opportunities with the east African country, have urged to further strengthen trade and investment ties with Ethiopia.
Officials of the Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce and Fujian International Investment Promotion Center also held China (Fujian) – Ethiopia Trade and Investment Promotion Conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa late on Monday.
The trade and investment promotion conference, among other things, is said to create conducive environment so as to bring a better integrated trade and investment partnership and cooperation among Ethiopian and Chinese investors, particularly investment opportunities and partnership with Fujian province of China.
Gasong Meilang, Deputy Director-General of Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce, said on the occasion that Fujian province aspires to strengthen the partnership with Ethiopia mainly in the expansion of the scale of bilateral trade and increase the bilateral investment among Ethiopia and Fujian province.
Gasong also advised for the establishment of a formal partnership platform so as to further strengthen the bilateral partnership in business and investment areas.
Noting that there are presently 8 Fujian companies that are registered to carryout investment in Ethiopia while only one Ethiopian investor currently operating in China’s Fujian province, Gasong also called to further expand the investment landscape to a win – win modality.
Amedework Dilnesaw, Senior Advisor to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), also invited investors from Fujian and the rest of China to explore trade and investment opportunities in Ethiopia.
According to Dilnesaw, the Ethiopian government has prioritized labor intensive light manufacturing sectors such as the agro-processing, textile, leather and garment, pharmaceutical, and construction sectors for foreign investors.
Referring the recent McKinsey report, which revealed Ethiopia and South Africa have a clear strategic posture toward China, along with a high degree of economic engagement in the form of investment, trade, loans, and aid, Dilnesaw asserted that his country aspires to lure Chinese companies to its investment landscape.
In just the past 2 decades alone, Chinese companies have invested close to 4 billion U.S. dollars in Ethiopia, according to the EIC. The bilateral trade volume among the two countries has also reached 6.37 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.
This increase has also witnessed with the east African country’s partnership with China’s Fujian province, in which the total bilateral trade volume between Ethiopia and Fujian province had reached 550 million Chinese Yuan in 2016 (approximately 83.1 mln U.S. dollars), registering a 65 percent increase from the previous year.
Electronic products, audio and video equipments, plastic materials, umbrella and rubber are said to be the leading export commodities from Fujian to Ethiopia. Ethiopia also exports, among other things, sesame, row hides and leather to China’s Fujian province, it was noted.
Cai Hailong, General Manager of China Wu Yi Co. Ltd. Ethiopia, one among the companies from Fujian province in Ethiopia, also praised Ethiopia’s investment landscape and urged to further strengthen the partnership.
The company, which started its operations in Ethiopia back in 2013, has a 19 million U.S. dollars investment in Ethiopia with its projects in Ethiopia’s construction sector ranging from road construction to large scale building construction projects.
Noting the conducive investment potential of the East African country, Cai also revealed his company’s interest to invest in Ethiopia’s housing construction and other sectors. Enditem