BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN
ADDIS ABABA –China has become Ethiopia’s top trading partner since the two countries’ bilateral trade volume has reached a record high of five billion USD in 2023. According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ethiopia’s products in the Chinese market are gaining momentum while their annual trade volume has hit a new high .
MoFA China Desk Director- General Samuel Fitsum-Birhan told the local media that both countries have been enjoying strong trade partnership. China’s import exceeds the export volume of Ethiopia. To balance such trade deficit, China has been supporting Ethiopia in value addition and others, he added. Ethiopia mainly exports agricultural products as well as mine to the Chinese market. As the former has given due emphasis for development of manpower, the latter has contributed a lot to train Ethiopian youths and provide various supports in this end . In turn these have hugely benefited Ethiopia, it was learnt.
Both still need to strengthen the existing strong trade relations. Ethiopia has been keenly working with China on expanding development and ensuring prosperity, Samuel noted. Accordingly, the two countries are now working tirelessly aiming to augment trade and diplomatic ties including on other several fronts. The director general stated that Ethiopia is gearing up to exploit the recent decision of tax free opportunity offered by China.
Regarding Ethio-China people to people ties , he indicated that the two sides have been boosting cultural exchange through Chinese language training and education at Confucius Center in Ethiopia and Amharic language education and training at several universities in China. China’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ethiopia is the largest one particularly in the manufacturing sector.
Government performed various activities including policy amendment and others to enable Chinese investors to join industrial parks aside from encouraging them to set up their own parks to contribute to the country’s GDP growth.
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD TUESDAY 21 MARCH 2023