ADDIS ABABA – Senior Officials of Ethiopia and Pakistan vowed to increase investment and trade ties between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
The announcement came after deputy foreign minister Redwan Hussein had a series of meetings with the Office of the Prime minister of Pakistan Board of Investment, the chamber of Commerce of Islamabad, Company CEOs in Pakistan.
Islamabad’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed the interest of its members to do business with their Ethiopian counterparts and increase cooperation with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, said the ministry.
“The chamber has shown great interest to work with the Ethiopian Business community to import and export different products and on Joint ventures while requesting for options for the issuance of visas on arrival to Pakistan’s businesspeople,” MOfa said in a statement on Wednesday.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Redwan, on his part, said a visa on arrival would be considered and a direct flight of Ethiopian Airlines to Karachi was also under process.
Redwan further described the investment opportunities in Ethiopia, among others in agriculture, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, Agro-processing, textiles and leather sectors.
He also explained the development of industrial parks by the government to make investing in Ethiopia more attractive to foreign investors.
Ethiopia currently imports mainly sugar products, rice, packaging bags, and medical supplies from Pakistan while exporting cereals, tea leaves, spices, and textiles to Pakistan.
During the discussion with members of the Board of Investment, its Chairman Muhammad Azfar Ahsan stressed that Pakistan considers Ethiopia to be one of the centerpieces of its Engage-Africa initiative, adding the East African nation can come to rely on Pakistan as a trusted all-weather partner in the Global South.
Ambassador Redwan pointed out that Ethiopia is set to establish its permanent Mission in Pakistan soon.
He also underscored the need to set a regular mechanism of interaction between business associations and chambers of the two countries.
The Chairman of BOI finally invited Ethiopian investors to participate in a two-day long Pakistan Investment Summit beginning March 30th.