(Xinhua) -- Ethiopian policymakers and business
people on Friday hailed the country’s investment and trade ties
with China as an ideal model of win-win and strategic
Ethiopian government’s high-level
officials and business community members were participating in a
trade and investment symposium held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis
Ababa on Friday, with an aim to promote trade and investment
ties between the two countries.
Melaku Ezezew, president of the
Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association,
considered the Sino-Ethiopian trade and investment relations
“comprehensive and strategic,” evidenced by massive and robust
investment in various sectors.
“Ethiopians really feel at ease and
friendly with Chinese businesses, and respect the significant
achievement China has made. China has amazed the whole world by
becoming one of the world’s biggest economies in a relatively
short period of time,” Ezezew told participants from Ethiopian
and Chinese businesses.
“China and Ethiopia have developed
multi-dimensional relations, with people-to-people,
business-to-business and government-to-government relations
being the cornerstones of our relations,” he added.
Noting that the two countries’
relations have been significantly deepened during the past
decades in trade and investment sectors, Ezezew said that the
engagement of Chinese companies has contributed a lot to
Ethiopia’s road construction, supply of manufacturing goods from
China, telecommunications, as well as developments in energy
The East African country licensed more
than 1,290 Chinese investment projects during the 2017-18
Ethiopian fiscal year ending on July 8, according to figures
from the Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC).
Mekonen Hailu, communications director
at the EIC, told Xinhua that Chinese investment projects made up
about 24.8 percent of the total investment licenses the
commission provides during the previous fiscal year.
“Chinese investment and capital
comprise the largest investment inflow to Ethiopia, with Chinese
investors engaged in various sectors ranging from agriculture,
manufacturing and service sectors including hospitality and
tourism fields,” Hailu told Xinhua.
Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign
Affairs Aklilu Hailemichael also on Friday underlined the
positive contribution of Chinese companies to Ethiopia’s
investment landscape in line with the Ethiopian government’s
initiative to attract more foreign investors as the country
aspires to be a manufacturing hub of Africa by the year 2025.
The minister said Ethiopia expects
more through the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with a
focus on economic cooperation and connectivity among nations.
Habtu Asrat, senior investment
promotion expert at the EIC, said that Chinese engagement in
Ethiopia corresponds positively with the Ethiopian government’s
aspirations and ambitions, with due emphasis on infrastructure
development and various other development initiatives.
While calling for further investments
from China, Asrat said that the Ethiopian government will make
its utmost efforts to lure Chinese investments in various areas
including agriculture, hotel and tourism, manufacturing and
various other sectors.
Ethiopia has in recent years rolled
out various incentives to attract foreign investors, including
customs duty exemption, income tax holidays, and provision of
land at competitive lease price.
China, Ethiopia’s largest trading
partner, had witnessed trade with Ethiopia increasing at an
average rate of 22.2 percent annually during the last decade,
according to the EIC.