Ethiopia and India have agreed to consolidate bilateral economic cooperation as the Sixth Joint Trade Committee of the two held meeting in Addis Ababa between November 6 and 7, 2023.
A statement sent to The Ethiopian Herald indicated that both sides acknowledged the huge potential for expansion and diversification of the trade following a comprehensive review of bilateral trade relations.
The Joint Trade Committee agreed to cooperate in standardization and quality assurance, financial, pharmaceutical, automobile, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing sectors, it added.
The statement showed that both sides have agreed to expeditiously address all issues impeding bilateral trade and facilitate trade promotion between the two countries.
During the meeting, the Indian side invited Ethiopian counterparts to collaborate on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) of India with Ethswitch of Ethiopia, it was learnt.
It also suggested that Ethiopia can explore the possibility of settlement of trade transactions in local currency which will help boost bilateral trade and conserve foreign exchange.
The deliberations of the 6th Sessions of India-Ethiopia JTC were cordial and forward-looking, reflecting the traditionally friendly and special relations between the two countries, according to the statement.
Both sides undertook a detailed review of recent developments in bilateral trade and investment ties and noted that the relationship has a huge potential to be scaled up even further, it indicated.
To this effect, both sides identified several areas of focus for enhancing both bilateral trade as well as mutually beneficial investments, the statement mentioned.
India is the second largest trading partner for Ethiopia in which trade exchange between the two stood at 2.8 billion USD in 2022, out of which Ethiopia’s exports were about 80 million USD. Exports from India mainly include primary and semi-finished iron and steel products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, manufactures of metal, etc, it was mentioned.
On the other hand, the statement elaborated that the major imports by India from Ethiopia are pulses, precious and semi-precious stones, vegetables and seeds, leather and spices.
India is the second largest foreign investor in Ethiopia where about 650 Indian companies are licensed for five billion USD worth investments of which about USD three to four billion is estimated to be on the ground, it noted.
The Ethiopian Herald has learnt from the statement that Indian investors are the second-largest foreign employers in Ethiopia, providing employment to over 75,000 persons.
Indian companies have invested in various sectors like agriculture and floriculture, engineering, plastics, manufacturing, cotton and textiles, water management, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, it mentioned.
Moreover, the Indian delegation has visited Indian textile factories at Bole Lemmi Industrial and Cadila Pharmaceuticals located in Gelan, it has indicated.