Addis Ababa April 12/2018 Ethiopia’s economic ties with neighboring countries have proved fruitful and continue growing over the past years, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Meles Alem said.
In his weekly briefing, Meles said Ethiopia is giving due attention to boost economic ties with its neighbors mainly because they offer large and accessible markets, port services, and significantly impact peace and stability in the country.
Export in fruits, vegetables, spices, meat, live animals and industrial products to Somalia and Djibouti have last Ethiopian year jumped over 474 million and 187 million USD respectively.
According to the Spokesperson, some 473 investment projects worth hundreds of millions USD were carried out by investors from the neighboring countries and created jobs for more than 13,000 Ethiopians.
Of the total projects, 317 belong to Sudanese, 80 to Kenyans, 23 to Somalis, and 21 Djiboutians.
Recalling that the trade volume between Ethiopia and Sudan 15 years ago was only 3million USD, Meles noted that “it has now reached 300 million USD .”
Ethiopia’s efforts in implementing different mechanisms such as establishing joint border administration commission, harmonization of policies and extension of various infrastructural networks were the key elements that enhanced the economic ties, he added.
Speaking of the tripartite meeting on GERD held in Sudan, Meles dismissed media reports saying that the leaders have agreed to come up with details for the implementation of infrastructure fund; though participants from Egypt once again called for discussion about the 1959 agreement to which Ethiopia was never a part.
“Ethiopia’s initiation to minimize any significant harm to downstream countries have long been expressed practically and will continue. But there will never be negotiation on any agreement that we were never part,” the Spokesperson emphasized.
Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt are expected to hold high-level ministerial and technical meeting to close the gap in areas of differences.