Ethiopia, Turkey Take Practical Cooperation Steps –

by Zelalem

Ethiopia and Turkey entered new era of cooperation in various sectors.

Ethiopia and Turkey take practical steps to intensify economic, trade and investment cooperation signing various MoU here yesterday.

The MoU includes areas of mining, hydrocarbon development, standardization, small and medium manufacturing industries development enterprises, media and electricity sub sectors at the conclusion of Ethio-Turkey Business and Investment Forum.

Opening the forum, Foreign Minster Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said Ethiopia and Turkey would go a long way in further enhancing their close partnership and historical relations built over the years.

The multifaceted bilateral relations progressing in all spheres need to deepen and strengthened. He added: “We have created conducive trade and investment environment for the private sector. And Turkey is a strategic partner in our development and transformation drive.”

According to the minister, the annual trade exchange between the two countries has grown to 450 million USD from 27 million USD in 2002. “Tens of thousands of jobs have been created by Turkish investment.”

There is a healthy growth of Turkish investment in Ethiopia, he said, adding:”We are very keen to attract Turkish investment in textile and garment, leather and leather products, construction and aggro-processing as well as industrial parks development.”

The foreign minister also stated that the country needs support to access international market and improve balance of trade.

Ethiopia is the only country in Africa where the Turkish International Cooperation Agency opened its country office which shows our strengthened relations, Dr. Workneh said.

Industry Minister Ahmed Abitew said for his part Ethiopia and Turkey have established a joint economic commission to uplift mutual economic development. “Ethiopia has set desks at line ministries to facilitate investment.”

Ethiopia has taken substantial measure to develop industrial parks and the manufacturing sector, he said, adding Turkish investors could seize the opportunity.

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also said Ethiopia is a country which is registering rapid economic growth. In this regard, Turky would sign various Foreign Direct Investment agreements after considering some technical details and procedures.

“Our partnership with Ethiopia is successful in various areas.”

Turkey-Ethiopia Business Council Chairperson Emre Aykar underlined that Ethiopia is one of Turkish leading business partners in the African continent. He said: ” Turkish investment in Ethiopia is now over 2.5 billion USD creating 30,000 jobs.”

The chairperson also recommended enhancing investment in the areas of banking, air cargo transport, free trade and payment services, among others.

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations President Solomon Afework said for his part that Turkish trade and investment and people-to-people ties are increasing rapidly over the years.

He said the government is facilitating industrial sector progress through industrial parks development to address constraints in land, customs, skill and financial matters.

The country is also working to increase its power generation capacity to 15,000 MW when the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam sees its completion,he said.

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