Trade can go to $300m: Ethiopian envoy

Says Pakistan can enhance exports with Africa via Ethiopia


Our Corresondent November 27, 2022
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan and Ethiopia have the potential to increase bilateral trade up to US$ 300 million said Ethiopian Ambassador to Pakistan, Jemal Beker Abdula on Saturday while addressing the business community during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI).

“Ethiopia is a gateway to African countries and Pakistan can enhance its exports with the African region by developing closer ties with my country,” said the envoy.

Welcoming ICCI’s proposal to organise a Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) in Ethiopia, the envoy said the prime minister of Ethiopia would join the event as chief guest while he would provide full support to ensure its success.

“Ethiopian Airlines is going to launch direct flights between the two countries,” he added. Talking about reforms made for the ease of doing business he said, “Ethiopia is now a manufacturing hub in Africa and Pakistani investors are invited to set up manufacturing units there to export their products to the African region.”

“Many Ethiopian products including tea, coffee, meat, etc., can be brought to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan can export its products to Ethiopia,” he added. ICCI President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said, “Ethiopia’s annual imports 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 does not match its potential.”

“Both countries should encourage a regular exchange of trade delegations to ensure continual exploration of new areas of trade,” said Bakhtawari. He stressed that Ethiopia should lower the registration cost of foreign pharmaceutical products to enhance exports.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2022.

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