Ethiopia announces plan to boost trade relations with neighors
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday disclosed the country’s plan to enlarge the volume of trade exchanges with its neighbors.
According to the Director-General in charge of Nile Basin countries at the Ministry, Gebiresilasie Gebiregziabiher, Ethiopia will elevate its current trade exchanges with its neighbors such as Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti.
These countries are among Ethiopia’s major five export destinations in Africa with Somalia taking the biggest share at 330 million dollars, according to the ministry.
Gebiresilasie said Djibouti and Ethiopia are now working towards economic integration with the already expanding infrastructural ties between the two nations.
He referred to the preferential trade agreement signed between Ethiopia and Sudan in 2002 and the Special Statues Agreement with Kenya in 2012 to raise the economic cooperation to a higher level.
Constructing highways that will connect Ethiopia with neighboring Sudan and South Sudan is also part of the drive to increase exchanges with its neighbors, he added.
Yeshak Tekaligne, Bilateral and Regional Trade Relation and Negotiation Director at the Ministry of Trade also confirmed the growing push to improve trade exchanges between Ethiopia and its neighbors.
Yeshak said the government is highly prioritizing increased trade relations with neighboring countries due to the longstanding people to people relationship, geographic location and shared borders.
The trade volume exchanged between Ethiopia and Sudan has reached 184 million dollars in 2014 from only two million dollars in 2002, according to Yeshak.
He said the Ethiopia-Kenya total trade volume which was 35 million dollars in 2010 has reached 57 million dollars in 2014.
The country is also confident about the valuable role of its massive infrastructure development projects in accelerating exchanges in trade, the director said.
“The ultimate goal of the country is ensuring mutual benefit, mutual prosperity, and mutual growth among neighboring countries”, the director added.