Ethiopia and Russia agreed to work more on boosting mutual investment and trade, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Ghebreyesus noted that regular political dialogue is maintained between the two countries which “helps to maintain relations on a regular basis.”
The Ethiopian foreign minister said that he discussed with Lavrov trade and investment between the two countries. “They are not at the level that we would want to see. We agreed to work more in this sphere. We expect our relations in the sphere of trade to strengthen and that we will receive more investment from Russia,” he said.
“Education, science, technology are also important. We need more support from Russia,” Ghebreyesus noted. He stressed that “Russia supports peace in the Horn of Africa and helps the region to fight terrorists, in general, renders uninterrupted support to Africa’s positions on the global arena.” “We hope that it will continue to be like that,” he concluded.
Russian-Ethiopian trade and economic interaction is, on the whole, characterized by sustainability. This is the result of joint efforts, first of all within the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Trade Cooperation. The IGC Co-Chairs Meeting held in March 2011 in Addis Ababa confirmed the significant interest of both Russian and Ethiopian partners to expand the existing mutually beneficial cooperation. Both Moscow and Addis Ababa attach great importance to this mechanism in terms of promoting bilateral trade and economic partnership.
Further impetus to the economic cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia is provided by the “Russia-Africa” Business Forum. Such sort of an event was for the first time held in December 2011 in Addis Ababa and is supposed to be conducted on a regular basis in the future.
According to the Ethiopian Investment Agency, over 35 projects with full or partial participation of the Russian investors have so far been registered in Ethiopia. The Russian Embassy in Ethiopia is actively engaged in awareness raising and consultative activities to stimulate the participation of Russian companies in trade and industrial exhibitions and fairs that are regularly held in Addis Ababa. Russian participants of these events sign contracts and documents of intent with their Ethiopian and foreign partners.
All this should facilitate boosting business contacts between Moscow and Addis Ababa, as well as stimulate the potential of Russian and Ethiopian companies in this field. This corresponds to the prioritized objectives of the Russian foreign policy, meets the concept of the country’s “return” to the African continent.