India’s bilateral trade with Ethiopia is set to expand faster than the 227-percent growth logged during the past five year, thanks to the duty-free scheme announced by New Delhi, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Thursday.
Sharma also told the visiting leader that Indian companies, already the largest foreign investors in Ethiopia with approved investment of $4.4 billion, look forward to pumping more money there, especially in the farm sector.
‘Approximately $1 billion worth of investments were already on ground or in the pipeline and about 40 percent of Indian investments was in the field of commercial agriculture,’ the minister told Desalegn, who also oversees his country’s foreign office.
The Ethiopian leader was told that the duty free tariff preference scheme extended to his country provided for duty free market access on 85 percent of of India’s total tariff lines.
‘Accordingly, there is scope for increased trade and joint ventures in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing industries, floriculture, textile and garments, leather and leather products, IT sector, drugs and pharmaceuticals,’ he said.
According to official data, the India-Ethiopia trade touched $272 million last fiscal, up 227 percent from $83 million in 2005-06. India’s exports increased from $74 million to $253 million, while imports grew from $8million to $18 million.
Major items of export to Ethiopia were machinery, instruments, electronic goods, paper, transport equipment, metals and wood products, while item of imports were pulses, oil seeds, leather, spices, non-ferrous metals, raw hides and skins.