ISLAMABAD-Jemal Beker Abdula, Ambassador of Ethiopia, has welcomed the ICCI proposal to organise a Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) in Ethiopia and said that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia would join the event as chief guest while he would provide full support to make it successful.
He said that his country is a gateway for African countries and Pakistan can enhance its exports with the African region by developing closer cooperation with Ethiopia. He said that Ethiopia has made reforms for ease of doing business and is now a manufacturing hub in Africa, therefore, Pakistani investors should set up manufacturing units in Ethiopia to export their products to the African region. He said that Ethiopian Airline is going to launch direct flights between Ethiopia and Pakistan, which will help Pakistani entrepreneurs to explore Africa for business and investment. He said that Pakistan and Ethiopia have the potential to increase bilateral trade up to $300 million. He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
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The envoy said that many products of Ethiopia including tea, coffee, meat, metals can enter Pakistani markets. Similarly, Pakistan can export rice, chemicals, food products, sports goods, surgical instruments, medicines, IT products, technology etc. to Ethiopia. He said that both countries can cooperate in intercontinental trade, energy and tourism sectors. Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that said that the annual imports of Ethiopia are over $18 billion and annual exports around $8 billion, however, the current volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Ethiopia is just around 21 million, which is not matching with their actual potential. He said that Pakistan and Ethiopia should encourage regular exchange of trade delegations to explore new areas of trade promotion. He said it is encouraging that Ethiopia intends to start direct flights with Pakistan, which will improve people-to-people and trade ties between the two countries. Ahsan Bakhtawari said that Pakistan is producing good quality surgical and pharmaceutical products and Ethiopia is importing most of these products. He stressed that Ethiopia should lower the registration cost of foreign pharmaceutical products to enhance exports of these products from Pakistan to its market. He said that Pakistan can also export cement to Ethiopia and to other African countries.
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