On May 19, 2022, Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing in collaboration with China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) organized a virtual Forum promoting Ethiopia’s transport logistics and investment infrastructure opportunities to Chinese investors and enterprises where more than 900 participants, including H.E Mrs. Dagmawit Moges – Minister of Transport and Logistics, H.E Mr. Melaku Alebel – Minister of Industry, and H.E Mrs. Lelise Neme – Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner also attended.
Ambassador Teshome Toga, who moderated the forum, thanked CHINCA for co-organizing the event with Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing in line with Ethiopian government’s due attention for the infrastructure and logistics sector in its ten years Development Plan and Home Grown Economic Reform Programs aiming to create a platform for highlighting on the policies and benefits of investing in the Ethiopia’s infrastructure sector. He added that the infrastructure and logistics sector plays a major role in the country’s economic transformation and also indicated that it is the government’s policy direction to see the private sector taking the lead in the industry in the years to come. Furthermore, given the immense experience, technology and investment capacity of China, he said Ethiopia could benefit a lot and that the Embassy will continue to strengthen its relationship with CHINCA and will work hard to attracting more Chinese enterprises to invest in Ethiopia.
Mr. Xin Xiuming, Vice Chairman of CHINCA on his part noted that Ethiopia and China are partners with a comprehensive strategic cooperation and recalled on his visit to Ethiopia in 2019 leading a business delegation and having fruitful engagements with Ethiopian counterparts. He mentioned that Chinese enterprises have heavily invested and developed industrial parks, railways, roads and the likes, in Ethiopia and that this showcases the strong bilateral cooperation between the two countries. While appreciating Ethiopian government’s reform programs and long term plans to make the country attractive to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he promised to encourage Chinese enterprises under CHINCA to invest more in infrastructure and logistics, renewable energy and agriculture sectors. He also expressed his commitment to see it come to fruition.
Noting that the two countries have a long history and share a cordial friendship, H.E Mrs. Dagmawit Moges in her remark, said, Ethiopia and China have successful economic collaboration, particularly in the transport and logistics sector under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Furthermore, she highlighted on the port to port, railway and road, aviation, logistics city, and transport services development, which are the government’s priority areas of cooperation under its ten years development plan, and said that Ethiopia is ready and committed to work with Chinese enterprises in this sector.
H.E Mr. Melaku Alebel said in his remark, when it comes to capital expenditure and FDI numbers, Chinese enterprises are leading in Ethiopia and mentioned that the government has put a lot of work especially in the manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing sectors. And he called on Chinese enterprises to invest in Ethiopia given its strategic geographical proximity to the Middle East and European markets, its huge and young competitive work forces and its membership and ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
H.E Mrs. Lelise Neme in her remark noted that Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) is the gate way to the country’s FDI and highlighted on the government’s efforts to widen and make the country’s investment environment more attractive through Home Grown Economic reform and multiple other programs. She added that despite the smearing and defaming campaign with regards to the war in Northern Ethiopia and the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopia has managed to attract more FDI. Furthermore, she mentioned that she keeps close contacts with Chinese
enterprises that have already invested in Ethiopia and she called on more Chinese enterprises to make a pre-investment visit to Ethiopia and invest.
Mr. Ashebr Balcha, Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) also gave a briefing on Ethiopia’s potentials in the renewable energy sector and highlighted on future development projects.
Finally, after question and answer session the forum concluded successfully.