500 Indian companies invest five billon US dollars in Ethiopia

Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi and Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh
During his visit to India Prime Minister Meles held talks with Dr. Manmohan Singh. (File photo)

Taking advantage of the African nation’s stable political system, improved infrastructural facilities and satisfactory law and order, about 500 Indian companies have been doing brisk business in Ethiopia for the past several years and their total investment crossed five billion US dollars mark last year.

This was stated here today by Ethiopian Ambassador in India Gennet Zewide while participating in an interactive session with members of the city’s premier Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce(MCC).

Claiming that the climate of Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) in Ethiopia was very conducive to Indian business community in particular in the wake of the long standing relations between the two countries, Ms Zewide said following the success of the 500-member ‘India Business Forum’ in Ethiopia, many more Indian corporate sectors had desired to come and set up business ventures in the East African nation.

” Keeping in mind the growing interest of the Indian business community to come and invest in Ethiopia, the country’s national Airline – Ethiopian Airlines – is now actively considering not only to increase the number of direct flights to Addis Ababa from New Delhi and Mumbai, but also want to bring Chennai and Bangalore under its map soon, ” she said.

” Moreover, if the airlines get enough passengers from Eastern India, they might also consider to start a new Kolkata-Addis Ababa direct flight soon, ” she emphasised replying to a related query later.

Highlighting the ‘advantages’ of investing in various sectors in Ethiopia, recently rated by the World Bank as the fastest growing economy of East Africa, with a smart powerpoint presentation, the envoy said apart from Information Technology, agro products and leather related products, more joint sector investment was welcomed in textile, tea, infrastructure, mining and power plants besides chemical and pharmaceutical products.

She also underscored the need for further growth in bilateral trade, presently tilted very much in favour of India.

” As the total volume was presently hovering around 300 million US dollars per annum, it needs to be increased manifold, ” she asserted.

Despite registering nearly 17 per cent increase from the previous years, the volume of Indian export stood at 201 million US dollars last year, while import from Ethiopia in terms of raw hides, goat skins and some edible vegetables, was aggregated to the tune of about 91 million dollars, do business in Ethiopia, he said.

New Kerala