Seven to ten agreements within this month or next: Ambassador of Ethiopia

The Ambassador of Ethiopia Jamal Beker Abdula has informed that around seven to ten agreements pertaining to trade promotion, political consultations, defense cooperation, aviation, technology transfer and others will be signed with the Government of Pakistan within this month or next which would effectively connect the two countries and prove favorable for the economies.

“Ethiopia is ready to welcome you in trade, investment and tourism etc. and we are ready to assist and facilitate trade by efficiently removing the trade barriers. We need to work together and my country is very clear on improving trade and investment ties with Pakistan”, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Muhammad Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Haris Agar, Former President Majyd Aziz, Khalid Tawab and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

The Ambassador further stated that Ethiopian Airlines, which has been flying to 127 destinations, will soon be flying to Karachi as well and the crew of the airline was ready. “We are also working on the modalities so that the goods could directly be transited from Gwadar to Modjo Dry Port in Ethiopia”, he added.

While appreciating KCCI’s eagerness to enhance trade and investment ties with Ethiopia, he said that Pakistan was a very strong destination for Ethiopian businesses and a very vibrant country. However, lack of information and lack of relationships have created a big gap between Ethiopia and Pakistan despite political will hence, the business communities will have to come forward and navigate so that trade and investment ties could be taken to new heights.

On the occasion, the Ambassador announced appointed of Ibrahim Khalid Tawab as Honorary Consul General of Ethiopia in Karachi who has been appointed to bridge the gap between the business communities of the two friendly countries.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, stressed the need to create a win-win situation between Pakistan and Ethiopia hence, the two countries must focus on improving people-to-people and business-to-business contacts while mutually beneficial policies, regulations and frameworks need to be devised to achieve this goal. “The meager trade volume of just US$9 million was nothing therefore, we have to collectively explore what more can be exported to Ethiopia and imported to Pakistan. We are in a perfect position to provide textile products to Ethiopia with excellent quality and better price as compared to what India has been exporting Ethiopia”, he said, “We really want to see trade flourishing which would actually prove favorable for populations of the two countries.”

Referring to “Look Africa” program initiated by the government, he said that the purpose was to diversify Pakistan’s exports which remain mostly confined to US and EU but to attain the objective of this program, there is a need to have Free Trade Agreements with African countries including Ethiopia while people to people and business to business interactions have to be particularly focused during the next five years which would certainly help in attaining the desired results.

He said that Pakistan’s knitting exports have risen by 76 percent during the last couple of years and it was heartening to see that out of Pakistan’s total textile exports of US$19 billion, around US$7 billion comprises of knitted textiles and it was growing fast. However, the trade of this particular product between Pakistan and Ethiopia was too low which needs to be improved, he added while stressing the need to change the mindset of business communities through enhanced B2B interaction and frequent exchange of trade delegations.

He said that Pakistan was flying high but unfortunately, the country suffered badly due to flashfloods which caused immense losses of around US$70 to US$80 billion. “We and even the UN’s Secretary General appealed for help but unfortunately, a meager amount of around US$19 million has arrived so far hence, I request the Ethiopian Ambassador to raise voice during his interactions in diplomatic circles so that Pakistan could get the desperately needed support.”

While referring to Ambassador’s remarks about signing of 7 to 10 agreements with the government of Pakistan, Zubair Motiwala requested to also arrange MoUs between KCCI and its peer Chambers in Ethiopia which would certainly bring the business communities closer and prove fruitful for both the economies.

President KCCI Muhammad Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming the Ethiopian Ambassador, noted that trade between Pakistan and Ethiopia was very low hence, there was a need to look into the possibility of removing the trade barriers with a view to promote the bilateral business between the two countries. Lack of Banking Channel has been a main hurdle in expanding trade while trade via land route must also be taken into consideration which would considerably bring down the cost.

He noted that Ethiopia has been importing a lot of items from India and China which can also be provided by Pakistan particularly the textiles and pharmaceutical products. “Any trade inquiry or requirement reaching the Ethiopian Embassy may please be forwarded to KCCI and the same will be disseminated not only amongst KCCI members but to all other trade associations nationwide so that our exports could be improved”, he said, adding that lots of possibilities do exist in improving Pakistan’s exports of value-added textiles to Ethiopia.

CAPTION:

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Muhammad Tariq Yousuf presenting crest to Ambassador of Ethiopia Jamal Beker Abdula during his visit to KCCI. Honorary Consul General of Ethiopia Ibrahim Khalid Tawab, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Haris Agar, Former President Majyd Aziz, Khalid Tawab and KCCI Managing Committee Members are also seen in the picture.

 
 

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