Polish companies will arrive in Addis on Saturday to take part in the first Polish-Ethiopian Business Forum to be held at the Sheraton Addis on the 23rd of September and will also visit different private and government institutions.
The forum and visits aim to take the inadequate economic ties between the two countries to a different level. The Polish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Jack Jankowski, stated that currently ties are not at the level both countries want. “Trade for the year 2010 was, for instance, approximately USD 10 million,” he said. The trade between the two countries in 2012 also was only USD 13 million. For the ambassador this simply is just not acceptable when looking at the potential and population size of Ethiopia and Poland [84 million and 40 million, respectively.]
The Ambassador said that the forum is to be held in Addis, which is the political and economic centre, and can lead to a breakthrough into the African market. “I would like Polish investors to see Ethiopia as a window to enter the African market – to start with Ethiopia and expand activities to the whole continent,” he said.
During a press conference held on Tuesday, the Ambassador stated that representatives from 20 companies will arrive on Saturday for a three-day visit and the first Polish-Ethiopian Business Forum will be held on Monday. This business delegation led by Beata Stelmach, the Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, will visit different institutions, including ministries, state-owned enterprises and hold talks with the private sector to acquire an understanding of how to do business in the country and to study the opportunities, according to Ambassador Jack Jankowski.
The visits and the forum will probably be followed by investments and business deals. Jankowski said that a couple of agreements are set to be signed between Ethiopian and Polish companies in the very near future.