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Sunday February 25, 2024

Ethiopian PM may visit Pakistan soon

By Our Correspondent
March 07, 2023

Islamabad: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen Hassen on Monday said that there is a possibility of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Pakistan in coming months, says a press release.

He said that in the next few months, there will be meetings between the top leadership of both sides at different levels, which will give the two countries an opportunity to come closer.

Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen Hassen said this while addressing the delegation of Pakistan’s businessmen and investors from the different sectors. The Ethiopian Deputy PM welcomes the business delegation from Pakistan and said that it is hoped that after the arrival of this delegation, there will be positive progress on the economic and commercial sides.

On the occasion President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawri said that I feel honoured to address this important forum and I want to thank you for extending very warm welcome and great hospitality to Pakistani business delegation to Ethiopia. President ICCI said that Africa is a huge market of around 1.5 billion population, which is very attractive for foreign investors.

However, Africa is still an untapped market for Pakistani business community and the Government of Pakistan has made a Look Africa Policy to explore this huge market for trade and exports.

He said the purpose of the visit of Pakistani business delegation to Ethiopia is to meet with the business community of Ethiopia and explore areas of mutual cooperation with them. “We believe that Ethiopia is a gateway for Pakistan to get better access to the huge African market.”

Ahsan said “I would like to highly appreciate Mr. Jemal Beker, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Pakistan who took keen interest and made great efforts for formation of a Pakistani business delegation for Ethiopia. He personally visited many Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan to mobilize the business community to become part of this delegation for which he deserves great appreciation.

He said that Pakistan exports many high-quality products at competitive prices around the world including textiles products, surgical instruments, pharmaceuticals, cutlery items, leather products, sports goods, chemicals, marble and granite, carpets, and rugs, rice, sugar, cotton and many other items.

He proposed that to reduce registration for Pakistan’s pharmaceutical products and to make easy excess to Ethiopia and other African neighbouring countries. He further said that the inauguration of direct flight between Pakistan and Ethiopia would boost Ethiopia status as gateway for Africa. He Pakistan can export many of these products to Ethiopia and other African countries.

He said that Pakistan is well-known in the international market for its high quality surgical and pharmaceutical products while Ethiopia imports most of these products to meet its needs. He suggested that Ethiopia should facilitate Pakistani pharmaceu­tical companies for registration in its market by lowering registration costs that would enable Ethiopia to import quality surgical and pharmaceutical products from Pakistan. “I hope that the visit of a large business delegation of Pakistan to Ethiopia would open up many new avenues of business collaboration between the private sectors of Pakistan and Ethiopia and bring both countries even closer to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.”

President ICCI Proposed that Pakistan and Ethiopia should consider negotiating a preferential or free trade agreement to remove trade barriers and promote bilateral trade relations up to their actual potential.

Speaking on this occasion, Ibrahim Khalid Tawab said that in order to increase the economic cooperation between the two countries, work should be done on a single currency so that the trade imbalances on both sides end. Apart from this, he said that Ethiopia and Pakistan can work on Tariff rationalization which will increase mutual trade. Ibrahim Tawab said that commination and direct trade should be made effective in order to further advance the dialogue and trade on both sides.

Addressing the ceremony on this occasion, Illise Neme Suri , Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission, said that Ethiopia is open for all kinds of investment and there are many opportunities for Pakistani business here. He said that a lot of work has been done on Ease of Doing Business.

On this occasion, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Pakistan Jemal Abdullah Baker said that the arrival of a delegation of businessmen and Investors from Pakistan will increase mutual trade between the two countries.