Addis Ababa October 30/2013 A national workshop on mainstreaming trade into Ethiopia’s national development strategies kicked off here Wednesday.
The main objective of the workshop is to support trade policy making by strengthening the capacity of key government agencies that are directly responsible for mainstreaming trade into the national development strategies, namely the Ministries of Trade, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Commission of Economic Planning.
The two-day workshop brings together senior officials from these institutions and civil society, the private sector and representatives from other national institutions.
The workshop will discuss the national trade policy framework and trade strategies, providing an in-depth assessment, from a development perspective, of the economic and institutional constraints facing the country in its efforts to make trade an engine of growth and poverty reduction.
At the end of the process, recommendations on possible measures and options to address these constraints will be identified.
Speaking on the occasion, Trade State Minister Yakob Yala said the country's foreign trade has been increasing from year to year.
He said the private sector played major role for the development of the foreign trade.
Ethiopia is keen to boost trade ties with continental and global trade organizations, he said, adding, the country is working hard to connect the nation with neighboring countries through infrastructure to achieve this goal.
UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr Mukhisa Kiuyi on his part said this project is designed to assist six Least Developed Countries (LDCs), three from Asia and the balance from Africa.
He said "... we identified Ethiopia to be one of the beneficiary countries … because of the remarkable economic progress this country has achieved in the last two decades."
Ethiopia has demonstrated to other African countries and the world at large, the benefits of a peace dividend and what can be achieved when a country has a government with clear development vision and determination to overcome some of the persistent challenges that LDCs face, he said.
The major driving force behind this growth was trade expansion stimulated by increased demand for commodities by emerging economies in Asia, which he said created opportunities for new investments and rapid expansion in South-South trade, he said.