Ethio-Algerian Business Forum aims to strengthen relations

(L) Aklilu Hailemichael, Dr, Mebrahtu Meles, Dr, Solomon Afework and Khobzi Abdelmadjid
(L) Aklilu Hailemichael, Dr, Mebrahtu Meles, Dr, Solomon Afework and Khobzi Abdelmadjid

The Ethiopia-Algeria Business forum was held on May 15, 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel with the collaboration of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia.

The forum that aimed to strengthen trade and investment relations between the two countries focused on key investment opportunities in sectors such as agro-processing.

“Algeria has a big potential in Agro processing, meat and poultry, food, oil and minerals. Algeria has strategic importance in international trade as a main gateway to and from Europe which Ethiopia could benefit from. Both countries can use this advantage to promote common interests in the international trade system,” said Khobzi Abdelmadjid, Head of the Algerian Business Delegation.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael stated that the Algerian delegation has chosen the right time to discuss business with Ethiopia since the country’s growth performance could use some improvement  and the country continues to be one of the favored destinations of Forigen Direct Investment in Africa.

Most of Ethiopia’s export to Algeria is agricultural commodities including  Sesame, Cummins and Beans contribute to 88 percent of exports. Ethiopia’s total import from Algeria between 2011 and 2015 is only 1.5 million USD, mainly industrial products such as tires, chemicals, furniture and sugar. For the same years, Ethiopia’s export to Algeria amounts to only 8.4 million USD.

“Therefore, the trade balance shows that trade relations between the two countries are in favor of Ethiopia, even though the numbers are insignificant,” said Solomon Afework, President of ECCSA.

Afef Boutobba, Representative of the Algerian Embassy to Ethiopia, said that Algeria and Ethiopia have continued to maintain privileged historical relations based on shared principles and values, inspired by the ideals of pan-Africanism and belonging to the same continent, Africa.

“The active participation of the representatives of the two business communities at this forum, will allow the opening of new perspectives of their bilateral economic cooperation,” she added. Ethiopian and Algerian high ranking government officials, 13 Algerian business companies, and over 50 representatives from Ethiopian private sector participated at the forum.