U.S. Wants to See Ethiopia “on a Strong Economic Growth”

ADDIS ABABA – U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi said her country wants to see Ethiopia on a strong economic growth weeks after Washington removed Addis Ababa from a major duty free program.

Ambassador Pasi made the remarks during a meeting with members of the Ethiopian diaspora at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night.

The Ambassador praised the diaspora for their commitment to continuing to strengthen the ties between the two countries and noted their invaluable contributions to both of their homes, according to a brief the US embassy posted on its Facebook page.

“We all want to see Ethiopia on a strong economic growth and reform trajectory, where trade is growing, and the economy is expanding,” said Pasi.

The United States and Ethiopia have long enjoyed a strong partnership between our governments and our people, she said, adding that: “ We have a shared interest in Ethiopia’s economic success.”

Last October, Ambassador Pasi made similar remarks when visiting Hawassa Industrial Park, the first sustainable textile and apparel industrial park located in southern Ethiopia, and met workers and investors there.

The ambassador said that the U.S and Ethiopia “have a shared goal to ensure that the people of Ethiopia continue to benefit from AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act”.

A month later, Washington terminated Ethiopia and two other African nations from the pact saying “actions taken by each of their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute” despite Addis Ababa’s plea not to “politicize trade issues”.

Authorities in Addis Ababa called the decision “misguided” and “fails to take into account the commitment of the Government of the U.S. to value the wellbeing of ordinary citizens”.

Government estimates the suspension of the trade deal would affect the livelihoods of more than 200.000 low-income families mostly, women “who have got nothing to do with the conflict”. The estimate does not include a million others who engage in the supply chain ecosystem.

The East African nation also spent billions constructing a dozen industrial parks and related infrastructure for over a decade. Some factories based in these facilities produce goods for fashion giant PVH, owner of the Calvin Klein, Speedo and Tommy Hilfiger labels as Ethiopia utilized the preferential access deal aggressively in recent times for its non-oil products.


Featured Image: The US ambassador addressed members of the Ethiopian diaspora at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night. [Photo US Embassy in Addis Ababa]