The Ethio-Saudi Arabia Business Forum was held today (December 10) in Addis Ababa.
Over 150 Ethiopian and Saudi Arabian companies participated in the forum that aimed at attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and strengthening business-to-business linkages between the two countries.
In his opening remarks, Ethiopian State Minister Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael appreciated the deep-seated historical and people-to-people relationship between the two countries and called for actions to scale up the ties.
The state minister also highlighted the qualities that can make Ethiopia a favorite destination for investment, trade and tourism.
“Although there are about 229 Saudi Arabian companies investing in Ethiopia encouraged by the Governments commitment to attract FDI,” the State Minister said, “a lot has to be done to narrow the trade balance between the two countries that still favors Saudi Arabia.”
He also called on the Saudi Arabian investors to choose to participate in the Ethiopian Government’s priority areas for investment such as, agro-processing , energy , tourism, mining and Information Technology.
The Saudi Arabian State Minister Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Qattan expressed his Government’s commitment to strengthen bilateral relations and help Ethiopia achieve its economic development endeavors.
The economic reforms that DR. Abiy Ahmed is undertaking are attracting foreign investors to the Ethiopian market, the State Minister added.
President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, Eng. Melaku Ezezew for his part said the fast-growing Ethiopian economy and the current measures taken to reform it together with the country’s geographic proximity to Saudi Arabia call for putting more efforts into strengthening ties.
Ethiopian Investment Commission Investment Promotion Director Aschalew Tadesse gave briefings on the investment opportunities and incentives in Ethiopia.
High level Government officials attended the forum that was organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Saudi Arabian Embassy in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations.