Ethiopia, China Sign a Raft of Agreements to Revitalize Partnership

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and China on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will serve as a new cooperation mechanism for investment post-pandemic era.

The two countries also signed five other cooperation agreements in the manufacturing, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and other sectors.

The agreements will create a new mechanism and inject new impetus to cooperation between China and Ethiopia, according to Chinese officials.

The six agreements were signed at the end of the China-Ethiopia Investment and Trade Cooperation Forum, held in Addis Ababa.

Addressing the Forum, Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said China has proven to be Ethiopia’s most trusted economic and political partner.

Its support continues to sustain Ethiopia’s economic growth trajectory, he added.

Despite substantial progress in attracting and expanding investments, Demeke said Ethiopia’s institutional, technical, and financial capacities remain limited, resulting in lower achievement in comparison to its investment potential.

“Today’s agreement will be essential in directing our attention to the creation of new partnership and the providing of strategic and coordinated direction to our common investment challenges,” he underlined.

Qian Keming, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce of China, on his part, mentioned the need to implement the nine programs stated under the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

In connection with that, he explained China’s outlook for peace and development in the horn of Africa and mentioned development plans that called for cooperation such as the Belt and Road initiative, the China- Africa cooperation vision 2035, and Ethiopia’s Home-grown Economic reform.

China is by far the top investor in Ethiopia. Between 1998 to March 2020 alone, reports say Chinese companies executed about 1,564 investment projects with a cumulative investment capital worth over $1.153 billion.

Over 1,130 of these projects are engaged in the manufacturing sector, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

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