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One of Poland’s biggest manufacturers of agricultural machinery is to visit Ethiopia to look for investment opportunities.

Ursus SA has been in business for 120 years. Officials told Ethiopian journalists at Lublin, Poland, that staff will spend a week in Ethiopia and is looking for investors here who are interested in importing its products.

“We want to invest in the country through joint venture with local investors to assemble agriculture machinery for the local and regional market,” said Krzysztof Sekula, the company’s deputy commercial director.

Mr Sekula said the company has arranged the visit through the Polish Embassy in Addis and that its staff will meet government officials to discuss its business plan in Ethiopia.

Ursus SA plans to take part in the Ethiopia Food Expo – taking place in Addis Ababa later this month – for the first time.

It is the only agricultural machinery manufacturer listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and is the oldest company manufacturing vehicles for this purpose in Poland.

It has four manufacturing plants in Poland.

“We have high interest in expanding our export market from the current 30 percent, mainly in west Europe. Our visit to Ethiopia is part of the plan,” said a company official.

Ursus reported a 50 million Euro turnover in the last year, suggesting it has withstood the Europe-wide recession.

It already has strong sales in several African countries, including Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia, among others. Officials say plans to set up an assembly plant in Guinea are well advanced.

Ursus is not the only Polish agriculture company with an interest in strengthening ties with Ethiopia.

Draminski, which makes veterinary ultrasound scanners and other equipment, has said it is looking to expand sales here.

Julia Ocalewicz, the company’s senior area sales manager, said the company hopes to grow its sales beyond grain moisture meters, which are already available in Ethiopia.

Draminski already provides veterinary training at Addis Ababa University, in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agri Science and says it plans to expand this training to other sectors in Ethiopia.