During the Joint Economic and Trade Commission meeting held on February 21, 2023, Ethiopia and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish an investment and economic cooperation working group aimed at jointly boosting bilateral economic and trade relations in strategic fields.
The MOU was co-signed by H.E. Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, representing the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and H.E. Li Fei, Assistant Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, on behalf of China’s Government.
Speaking at the signing ceremony H.E. Ahmed Shide highlighted the two countries’ long standing relationship of more than half a century and indicated China’s significant role on Ethiopia’s economy as its top trade and investment partner. The Minister added that Chinese enterprises have significantly invested in Ethiopia in diverse sectors, including in industrial parks, processing, manufacturing, construction and so forth.
Mr. Li Fei on his side expressed China’s commitment to encourage Chinese enterprises to increase imports of Ethiopia’s competitive products. He indicated that China’s new preferential policy for zero-tariff treatment on 98% of taxable items that Ethiopia will enjoy from 1st March, will lead to tangible benefits from the two countries’ strengthened economic ties.
The two sides discussed common goals of boosting growth, trade, and investment, and indicated that the new Working Group under the signed MoU will help both nations to accomplish their commitment to efficiently implement the development strategies of the “Nine Programs” of the eighth Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road initiative.