Addis Ababa, May 19, 2022 (FBC) – Embassy of Ethiopia in Beijing in partnership with China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) organized “Forum on the promotion of Transport, Logistics and Infrastructure Opportunities in Ethiopia”

Ambassador of Ethiopia to China, Teshome Toga, the Transport and Logistics Minister Dagmawit Moges, the Industry Minister Melaku Alebel, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission Lelise Neme, CEO of Ethiopia Electric Power Asheber Balcha and Vice Chairman of China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) Xin Xiuming attended the forum.

The forum is aimed at creating a platform for exchanging views on the policies, priorities, modalities and benefits of investing in the Ethiopian infrastructure sector, which is one of the priorities of the government, as it was unveiled through the country’s Homegrown Economic Reform Program and the 10-Year Development Plan, derived from the new reform agenda of the country.

Addressing the participants on the forum, Ambassador of Ethiopia to China, Teshome Toga said that the government of Ethiopia considers infrastructure development as the major driving factor for the economic transformation of the nation.

“The government has not only put strong emphasis on the sector, but also aimed at making it a private-sector led industry in the policy years to come.”

The Chinese Public and Private enterprises’ participation in Ethiopia’s endeavors in the infrastructure development sector has been very significant in the last two years.

Chinese companies have put monumental imprints on the construction of highways, railways, dams, telecommunication, industrial park developments, airports and other valuable projects, that are now serving as the backbone of the economic activity in Ethiopia.

China has provided significant amount of loan and grant to finance 4 development projects in Ethiopia, to which the people and government of Ethiopia are grateful.

Saying that Ethiopia-China partnership is based on the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum for China Africa Cooperation, Ambassador Teshome noted that the cooperation has been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership since 2017.

“The BRI has created development pathways in Ethiopia by increasing connectivity that is benefiting Ethiopia in terms of job creation, increased production and exports, and infrastructure development that goes beyond the borders of Ethiopia by enhancing the regional economic integration agenda in the Horn of Africa.”

The Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway Project is one such project that created conducive environment for regional integration under the BRI and FOCAC framework. China has been partnering with Ethiopia in completing several infrastructure projects with a profound impact on job creation and poverty eradication, he added.

Since 2000, more than 70 mega projects in road, telecom, energy, water supply, railway and airport have been implemented in partnership with China.

The two countries, apart from their strong bilateral political and economic relations, have excellent cooperation and understanding on global issues, he underscored.

“Lack of adequate and quality infrastructure has created greater impediment on the growth and development in Ethiopia and in the region. Inadequate logistics, transport, communication, water and power infrastructure in Africa have negatively affected the economies’ efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Growth and development will not be achieved without quality and adequate infrastructure, thorough planning and investment are critical to realize the economic potential of countries like Ethiopia. That is why the government has introduced new modalities in infrastructure financing.”

The government is determined to make Ethiopia an important infrastructure investment destination in the post pandemic era, he said.

Ethiopia has improved its legal framework and introduced different modalities of financing infrastructure projects to address the challenges the sector, he said.

“These new modalities are expected to broaden the involvement of the private sector so as to give the sector more dynamism and space,” he explained.

Ambassador Teshome further called on Chinese enterprises to contribute to the existing and ever increasing investment in Ethiopia and further consolidate the achievements made and further open the chance for more companies to explore the investment opportunities in the country.

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