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Great scope to expand and diversify India-Ethiopia Bilateral Trade: MoS MEA | India News

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MANGALURU: Even as trade and economic relations between India and Ethiopia are booming, there is still great scope to expand and diversify trade between the two countries, said V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, at an ASSOCHAM event held. in New Delhi.
“I invite Indian entrepreneurs to consider establishing high-quality educational institutions, both technical and non-technical in nature, in Ethiopia,” Muraleedharan told an India-Ethiopia business forum organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the India (ASSOCHAM). .
The prestigious event organized in honor of Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister (PM) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was the first high-level physical interaction organized by ASSOCHAM after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muraleedharan said that the economy of Ethiopia, the second most populous African country that has been posting a double-digit growth rate for more than 15 years, along with its highly educated and skilled population and strong economic policies, makes it a destination for attractive investment for India. businessmen.
Highlighting the expansion of economic collaboration between India and Ethiopia, the minister stressed that despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, Indian businessmen continued to explore investment opportunities in the African country. “Over the last year, we have had 35 new Indian investments in Ethiopia.”
The minister also expressed appreciation for the Ethiopian government’s effort to create a pleasant environment for foreign investment and, in particular, to make it easier for Indian companies to invest in Ethiopia and conduct their business.
At present, there are more than 607 Indian companies in Ethiopia with an authorized investment of more than $ 5 billion (bn) employing about 75,000 Ethiopian citizens. Approximately 61 percent of Indian investments are in the manufacturing sector followed by agriculture (14 percent).
He also said that Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of Indian loans or concessional lines of credit in Africa. “I am pleased that our development partnership covers sectors such as rural electrification and the sugar industry and consists of a total of six credit lines worth $ 705 million to Ethiopia.”
The minister added that the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister’s state visit will deepen ties, leading to a strong and long-lasting relationship, and India will continue to collaborate on the country’s growth story.
Sharing his perspective, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Mekonnen said that while the bilateral trade relations between India and Ethiopia have reached $ 1.23 billion and, over the years, although Indian exportable goods to Ethiopia have shown exponential growth , regretted that Ethiopia’s exports to India remain as low as before.
In inviting Indian companies, the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister reported on a 10-year economic development plan presented by his government with a vision of ‘Ethiopia – An African Beacon of Prosperity’.
“We have also defined new frontiers of growth, including the digital economy, tourism, science and technology, human resource development, and increased productivity in agriculture and industry,” he said, while ensuring the facilitation of his government for possible Indian investments.
In his welcoming remarks, Vineet Agarwal, President of ASSOCHAM, said that India seeks to work more closely with the context of the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “The FTA should improve trade with Ethiopia and other African countries.”
Agarwal added: “We request the respective authorities and key stakeholders on both sides to expedite the resolution of non-tariff barriers to provide greater ease of doing business for industry members. This will help drive commercial potential between the India and Ethiopia in the near term, even as newer areas emerge for broader-based business engagement in the post-COVID world order. ”
Sharing his perspective, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said: “Ethiopia offers a wide and diverse untapped scope for a range of business opportunities. This untapped potential is a call for India to forge stronger business ties with Ethiopia and within the region. ”

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