Ethiopia signs bilateral agreements with China as Belt and Road takes shape

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Tsegab Kebebew and La Yifan, Ambassador of China

The one belt one road forum for International Development (BRF) held in Beijing from May 14 to 15 is already making a difference for Ethiopia as three bilateral agreements with the Chinese government were completed.
The high level delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn visited China from May 12 to 21 to attend the BRF and meet investors in China.
During the evaluation held at Sheraton Addis sponsored by the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives lauded the significance of the BRF for Ethiopia and Africa.
PM Hailemariam was the only African leader to deliver a speech at the BRF.
Tsegab Kebebew, who directs the Asia and Oceania Affairs division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the two nations also agreed to increase cooperation and production capacity, human resource development, tourism, aviation and other endeavors.
“We’ve signed three bilateral agreements,” he said.
The PM also met with big investors and attended investment forums in four provinces and Beijing, encouraging Chinese enterprises to relocate and invest in Ethiopia
Hailemariam invited companies to invest because of the financial support that will be given by the Belt and Road Initiative encouraging strong companies to go global through Ethiopia, according to Tsegab.
The Road and Belt Initiative, launched four years ago, works by improving the world’s connectivity using five pillars.
The five pillars of the initiatives are policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade, investment, and people to people exchanges.
“We all know about  importance of laying  down basic infrastructure for an economic takeoff, which was  the experience of many European countries in the 17th and 18th centuries and the Asian miracle countries,” La Yifan, Ambassador of China, said.
The purpose of the forum was to provide a platform for representatives from 130 countries in a diverse array of backgrounds to share ideas.
“We should promote land, maritime, air and cyberspace connectivity, concentrate our efforts on key passageways, cities and projects and connect networks of highways, railways and sea ports,” Xi Jinping, President of China said during his speech at the forum.
“The goal of building six major economic corridors under the Belt and Road Initiative has been set, and we should work to meet it. We will utilize revolutionary energy technologies to develop global energy interconnection and achieve green and low carbon development,” President Xi Jinping, added.
“Achievements registered at the forum include reviewing the past four years of progress since the initiative launched, discussing and agreeing upon  major principles of open, inclusive, transparent and volunteering,” Ambassador La Yifan said.
He added that the forum has made strategic plans for major areas of cooperation.
During the conference they agreed on 270 specific project areas they would cooperate on.
Ethiopia has signed deals with EXIM Bank of China for road and hydraulic factory projects, trade and economic cooperation with the government of China, a joint initiative on strengthening standards and building the Belt and Road with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China.
In relation to the event PM Hailemariam met with Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, PM of Pakistan. It was the first bilateral meeting between the two nations in 20 yearsg