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A High powered Business Delegation from India made a multi-day visit to Addis this past week. The delegation consisted of 23 businesses, many of them from India’s commercial capital Mumbai.
The visit was organized with the help of Genet Teshome, Consul General, at the Ethiopian Consulate in Mumbai, and was dominated by businesses whose focus seemed to be with capital intensive, no short term gains focused sectors such as energy, sugar and mining.
Mulu Solomon, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, and Sectoral Association (ECCSA), said India has proven time and again to be a real and dependable friend to Ethiopia in many ways. Such as in the case of the strong economic, trade, and investment ties with Ethiopia, which she says emanates from a kind of collaboration that focuses on mutual benefit layered with understanding and trust.
“We Ethiopians also model Indian export driven economic strategy, because we share nearly analogues socio- economic and comparable cultural settings,” Mulu said, adding that ECCSA has previously signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with a host of chambers of commerce in India including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to further strengthen and promote trade and investment relations between the two nations.
Sunanda Rajendran, Secretary General of India- African Chamber of Commerce and Industries (IACCI), said this delegation is part of a wider goal of creating an interlink between two emerging market destinations, Africa and India which together have a population of more than two billion.
Ethiopia is receiving a multi-billion dollar Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from India in various sectors of the economy, including the widely publicized commercial farming sector, education, and industry.
According to ECCSA as a result of increasing economic ties between India and Ethiopia the total trade turnover has reached nearly 800 million dollars in 2011 a fourfold increase in just a seven year period.
However the trade balance is heavily tilted in India’s favor with Ethiopia’s exports to India registering close to 33 million dollars in 2011 compared to well over 765 million dollars in imports from India to Ethiopia.
Reports indicate that a total of 365 projects from Indian investors with a registered capital of close to three billion dollars have received licenses creating over 33,000 permanent and 237,000 temporary employment opportunities for Ethiopians, in addition to leading to the facilitation of technology and knowledge transfer.