‘Pakistan desires to make Ethiopia a gateway to African exports’

  • PM’s adviser says commerce ministry will soon open a commercial section in Pakistan’s Embassy in Addis Ababa
  • Ethiopian minister says his country is mulling to start Ethiopian Air flights to/from Karachi

ISLAMABAD: A high-power delegation from Ethiopia, led by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Markos Tekle and State Minister for Trade and Industry Misiganu Arega, met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in Islamabad on Thursday.

The adviser appreciated the warm, historic and brotherly relations between the two countries and expressed his desire to make the trade relations commensurate with the political relations.

The Ethiopian delegation, which also comprised of leading businessmen and traders, referred to the meeting held between the prime ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in April this year and reiterated the desire to upgrade political, trade, commercial and people-to-people contacts.

The adviser warmly reciprocated the sentiments of the Ethiopian side and stressed the need to boost bilateral trade volume.

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Dawood highlighted the export potential of Pakistan in various sectors, including engineering goods, sugar, rice, agro-processed products, surgical, pharmaceutical and sports goods.

“Under the ministry’s ‘Look Africa’ Policy, Pakistan desires to make Ethiopia, being a member of COMESA –headquarter of African Union and African Continental FTA – a hub of its exports to Africa,” the adviser stated.

He further informed the delegation that his ministry will soon open a commercial section in Pakistan’s Embassy in Addis Ababa so as to develop linkages between the businesses of the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, the Ethiopian foreign minister welcomed the initiative and assured of complete support for the opening of the new office. He also announced that his country will soon open its embassy in Islamabad.

The Ethiopian trade minister expressed keen interest in exporting pulses, black tea, high-quality sesame seed and oilseeds to Pakistan.

He informed that his ministry is working on the commencement of Ethiopian Air flights to/from Karachi and expressed keen interest in hiring technical experts from Pakistan in the field of engineering, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.

Both sides emphasised that in order to translate brotherly relations into meaningful economic and trade cooperation, frequent engagements at government-to-government and business-to-business level will be ensured.

They also agreed to remove impediments in the area of technical/SPS regulations, visa facilitation and finalization of memorandums of understanding on trade relations.

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