South African companies keen to invest in Ethiopia

South African investors and representatives of companies have expressed their readiness to invest in Ethiopia and do business with.

A South African business delegation comprising 22 investors and representatives of companies are currently in Ethiopia to explore investment potentials and opportunities in the country, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, energy and construction sectors.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael met with the South African Business Delegation on Monday (March 6, 2017) and briefed them on investment prospects in Ethiopia. 

Dr. Aklilu  underscored that the delegation's current move will promote Ethiopia's aspiration to boost the intra Africa trade and enhance south-south cooperation.

He said, "Ethiopia attracts investors from China and Turkey as well as the US and Europe; nevertheless we would like to also promote south-south economic cooperation between African countries."

Touching upon the huge investment potentials in Ethiopia, the State Minister said, "Ethiopia's geographic location, its active membership in regional and bilateral trade agreements, including various other platforms with the U.S, EU and COMESA region, and the favorable investment policies make it an attractive investment destination."

Ethiopia's young and productive work force which accounts for 60 percent of the population also offers significant comparative advantages to investors, he added.

On April 13 August 2018 President Mulatu Teshome said Ethiopia is committed to assist the engagement of Chinese investors in the country’s industrial development.

The president visited today the Eastern Industrial Zone that shelters six factories, including Sansheng Pharmaceutical, East Steel and Huajia Aluminum as well as  tissue and shoes factories in the on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

Mulatu, who noted that the interest and engagement of Chinese companies in Ethiopian industrial sector is growing, said the country is always ready to facilitate the investment environment for the Chinese companies.

More Chinese companies are expressing interest to invest in Ethiopia as the country has resources and market, President Mulatu stated.

According to him, Chinese investment in the industrial sector has initiated fast economic growth and enabled Ethiopia to bring about economic change through high tech manufacturing industries.

Speaking about the Eastern Industrial Zone, the president appreciated the performance of the industries which have been effectively manufacturing various products.

The Eastern Industrial Zone as part of the Chinese based Jiangsu Yongyuan Investment Co. Ltd has attained full capacity.

There is, however, a growing demand for more land from investors and the government of Ethiopia will respond to this as soon as possible, Mulatu stated.

Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian said on the occasion China has considered Ethiopia as a model for China-Africa cooperation in which the two countries have been enjoying all-round mutual relationships.

Jian added: “I believe Ethiopia is a very important Africa country; it is the largest economy with a huge population. Therefore, we want to build our relationship with Ethiopia as a model for other African countries.”

China will consolidate its economic cooperation and support Ethiopia to implement the Growth and Transformation Plan that helps it to become a middle income country, Ambassador Jian pointed out.

Eastern Industrial Zone consists of 86 different industries and has created 15,000 jobs.

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Preliminary preparations are being underway to restart using the port of Assab in Eritrea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed on July 17/2018.

In a presser he gave here today, the Spokesperson, Meles Alem said preliminary activities are being carried by both sides to make use of the port.

According to Meles, the preparation has started following the direction set by leaders of the two countries, as per the agreement concluded between the two countries recently.

The two leaders have previously agreed to reinforce ties in diplomatic and economic areas. Recommencement of transport, trade and telecommunication ties as well as port services were among the priorities.

Accordingly, Ethiopia has started repairing the road to the port of Assab, he said, adding similar work is in progress from the Eritrean side.

A task force drawn from the Ministry of Transport; Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority and Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise has already established to follow the implementation, he indicated.

Furthermore, he noted the two nations are working to forge friendship and ties between the two people, especially at the border areas.

The two countries have already started activities that would help to restore diplomatic ties, the re-opening of the Eritrean Embassy in Addis Ababa this week is one of the steps.

According to Meles, Ethiopia is also working to re-open its embassy in Asmara to forge diplomatic ties.

President Isayas Afewerki has made a historic visit to Ethiopia last weekend, with the aim facilitating the normalization process.

Isayas’ visit comes after the historic visit of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Asmara in a bid to thaw the relation between the two countries.

Eritrean President Isayas Afeworki said we are one people and only those who are unable to see the vivid reality can perceive us (Eritreans and Ethiopians) as two people.

Speaking at luncheon at the National Palace today, President Isayas appreciated the warm welcome he was given by Ethiopians describing it as “happiness difficult to describe.”

“The world has to notice that history is in the making between our two countries and peoples,” he added.

Stating that the love and desire of Eritrea has already been expressed by its people while welcoming Prime Minister Abiy in Asmara, Isayas said the feelings of happiness and love among both people is genuine.

Grieving for the martyrs who were unable to see the present accomplishment of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the President noted that “we are all lucky to be able to see this.”

“We believe the future in store is bright and successful and exemplary to the entire world,” he pointed out.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said “we are grateful for the respect and commitment of the people that have been supporting us while we have not provided them any service yet.”

Religious leaders have prayed for the successful completion of the peace and unity.

The relationship ushers in a new chapter of peace and economic prosperity closing the chapter of war that had devastating effect for the last two decade.

Eritrea’s President Isayas Afewerki has arrived in the town of Hawassa in Southern Ethiopia to visit the country’s flagship industrial park on July 14/2018.

The President has received a warm welcome from officials of the regional government, religious leaders and community elders and residents of the town upon his arrival.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other high level federal government officials have also accompanied Isayas, arrived this morning in Addis Ababa for a three-day state visit, to Hawassa.

In Hawassa, President Isayas will visit the Hawassa Industrial Park, which is the largest specialized apparel and textile park on the continent.

Ethiopia inaugurated its largest industrial park in July 2016 to meet its development target and create enough job opportunities for the young population.

By building the park, which expected to employ 60,000 people at full capacity, Ethiopia has targeted to generate one billion USD annually once the park starts operations at its full potential.

Eritrea, once part of Ethiopia has gained its independence in 1993 after years of rebel warfare.

A border war broke between the two countries in 1998 that Eritrean troops invaded Ethiopia in May1998. The two-year war, which is the bloodiest in Africa, resulted in the death of more than 70,000 servicemen.

The countries ceased fire in the year 2000 following the signing of the Algiers peace agreement.

President Isaias’ visit to Addis Ababa is a daring move to end the two decade border standoff and re-establish diplomatic ties and reinforce economic ties.

The visit comes after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a historic trip to Eritrea last weekend, setting off the restoration of diplomatic ties.

The thaw began when the Prime Minister Abiy announced Ethiopia would fully implement a peace deal that ended a two-year border war signed in 2000.

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