Ethiopia: Ethio-Turkish Historic Relation – Flourishing Economic Cooperation –

Ethio-Turkish bilateral relation flourishing into economic cooperation

Starting diplomatic relations in 1896, Ethiopia and Turkey have been elevating their historical ties in various areas. And currently, the relation between the two countries is in a positive track. The Ethio-Turkish relation has got strengthened with a very constructive and fruitful engagements since its inception.

Excellent bilateral relations that are characterized by the ever-growing economic and political ties based on common understanding and mutual respect is being built between the two nations. And the constructive role Turkey plays in Africa is exemplary and showing the country’s determination to assure mutual benefits and foster growth and development in the continent.

From the four trading partners of Turkey in Sub-Saharan Africa and out of the six billion USD Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the continent, 2.5 billion USD has been channeled to Ethiopia. This is the biggest share of the total African investment.

Turkish investors are benefiting from investing in the textiles, food processing, leather, energy production and generation activities. There are still greater opportunities of partnership in the areas of development finance, investment and bilateral trade. The economic cooperation of the two countries have witnessed mutual benefit.

It was learned from the 4th Ethio-Turkish Business and Investment Forum held Wednesday here in Addis Ababa that half of Turkey’s African investment is in Ethiopia that exceeds two and a half billion from the total six billion Turkish investment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ethiopia is now Turkey’s biggest African investment spot. There are currently over 150 Turkish investors working in Ethiopia. Turkish officials and the delegates who visited Ethiopia for a day-long this week said that this is the result of the encouraging situation and trust built over the years between the two nations. The trade volume between the two countries has risen to be 450 million USD in 2016 and efforts are underway in both sides to raise the figure to 1 billion USD in the near future.

Both Ethiopian and Turkish senior government officials as well as business partners view that the trade, investment and people to people ties between the two nations is strong and satisfactory.

Top diplomats in the Ethiopian Embassy at Ankara recently said that Turkish companies are now focusing on Africa. “Ethiopia is a gateway for their vision. And Turkey is now changing and transferring to the service sector from industry.”

Ethiopian Embassy at Ankara and the government of Ethiopia are aggressively working to encourage more Turkish companies to come to Ethiopia and this combined with the current Turkish investment in Ethiopia is creating a push, pull effect to enhance the already blossoming trade between the two nations.

Ayalew Gobeze, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Turkey, said that in connection to economic relation, other aspects of the relationship are also growing. As to Ayalew, the number of Turkish investors seeking to invest in Ethiopia is rapidly growing. “We are also working strongly to expand the number of Turkish investors in Ethiopia since they will encourage technology and knowledge transfer.”

According to Minister of Economy of the Republic of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci, his country is looking for further ways of boosting economic and bilateral trade and investment ties with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in the years ahead.

At the end of the forum, Ethiopia and Turkey have signed cooperation and MoUs in the areas of mining, hydrocarbon development, standardization, small and medium manufacturing industries development enterprises, media and electricity sub sectors.

Minster of Ethiopian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, said that Ethiopia and Turkey will go a long way to further enhance the close partnership and historical relations. He underlined that the multifaceted bilateral relations between the two nations need to be deepen and strengthened as Ethiopia has created conducive trade and investment environment for investors. Turkey is Ethiopia’s a strategic partner in the development and transformation drive that the nation has envisioned.

Having a healthy growth of investment in the country, Ethiopia is keen to attract Turkish investment in textile and garment, leather and leather products, construction and industrial parks development, Dr Workneh said.

Ethiopia is the only country in Africa where the Turkish International Cooperation Agency opened its branch office; this is the indication of the strong partnership built between the two nations.

Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci witnessed that Ethiopia is a country that is in a state of sustainable development. “We want to strengthen our trade and investment relationship with the nation giving the gain to Ethiopia first. And our partnership with Ethiopia is successful in various areas.”

Chairman of Ethio-Turkey Business Council Emre Aykar said that Ethiopia is one of Turkish most trusted business partners in the African continent. “The Turkish investment in Ethiopia is now over 2.5 billion USD and over 30,000 temporary and permanent jobs were created for Ethiopian citizens by the investment opportunities created by Turkey so far.”

He further said that investment in the areas of banking, air-cargo transport, free trade, payment services and other facilitation should be given careful attention in the future endeavours.

After the forum, the delegates led by the Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci discussed with Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and Prime Mnister Hailemariam Desalegn. The Minister in his discussion with the president assures that his country is committed to boost trade ties and support development projects.

Ethio-Turkish historic relationship goes beyond economic issues. Seeing the significance of cultural bondage, Turkey government is actively engaging in areas of heritage preservation.

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