Ethiopia needs to take advantage of the huge opportunities that Canada can offer in agro-processing, manufacturing, energy, mining and extraction industries, Foreign Affairs State Minister Hirut Zemen said.
A two-day Ethio-Canada Bilateral Consultation aimed at evaluating the implementation of existing bilateral agreements, identifying new areas of cooperation and coordinating positions on issues of common interest took place on October 2/2017.
In her opening remark, the State Minister noted that Ethiopia’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and added that the country in this phase of economic growth needs more foreign investment and trade relations to sustain the growth.
As Ethiopia and Canada have common strategic interests which are steadily growing, it is now important to give more emphasis to areas of cooperation that could further enhance the mutual benefits of our peoples, she added.
According to her, economic ties and export and import trade between the two countries has been increasing in recent years.
The State Minister assured participants of the consultative meeting that “ the government of Ethiopia is fully committed to encourage and assist the Canadian business community that comes to Ethiopia in every way possible.”
Ethiopia is determined to make every effort to strengthen the special friendship and cooperation that has existed between Ethiopia and Canada over half a century, she added.
Canada's Director-General for Southern and Eastern Africa Bureau, Marc-Andre Fredtte said on his part the history of bilateral cooperation between the two countries is special.
He recalled that Canada had been engaged in promoting agriculture through the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) which is not considered a model around the world but brought a change and African countries are adopting various versions of it.
“There is now a maturity in our relationship which is different from those days, because those days accomplished things that were needed at the time, but I think Ethiopia has passed that,” Fredtte pointed out.
In the last 12 to 15 years Ethiopia was able to meet 7 of the 8 MDGs and "we could see the effect of your policies,” he stressed.
Speaking of Ethiopia’s role in maintaining regional security, the Director-General said “the image of Ethiopia in the complicated South Sudan is frankly one of the few sunshine, and we want to work with you.”
The long standing diplomatic relations of the two countries have provided a number of opportunities to nurture the relations and explore different ways to encourage bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, ranging from trade and investment to climate change and regional security, it was indicated.