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India to Invest US$ 4.78 Billion in Ethiopia

07th June 2011
By Steve Justine in Business Law
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Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri. Anand Sharma has expressed satisfaction with the impressive growth of Indian investment in Ethiopia over recent years, with India being the largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approved investment of US $ 4.78 billion, of which approximately US $ 1 billion was already on ground or in the pipeline. Shri Sharma called on Hon’ble Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on 21st May, 2011 at Addis Ababa. A 14-member high-level Indian CEOs’ delegation accompanied Mr Sharma for the call on. Mr. Sharma is on a 4-day visit to Ethiopia for the 2nd Africa-India Forum Summit.

The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister thanked the Ethiopian Prime Minister for his support and assistance for organization of the Second Africa-India Forum Summit in Addis Ababa, which reflected the deep and warm bilateral ties between India and Ethiopia. Mr. Sharma mentioned that the growing economic engagement between India and Ethiopia is reflected in the steady growth of bilateral trade, which has grown from US $ 83 million in 2005-06 to US $ 272 million in 2009-10, registering a three-fold increase over the four-year period. He thanked the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the Ethiopian Government for having facilitated these investments.

Later in the day, Mr Anand Sharma co-chaired the ‘Africa-India Trade Ministers Meeting’ held at the African Union Commission. The Ministers explored ways of establishment of trade and investment linkages between India and Africa through, inter alia, the conclusion of trade cooperation agreements between India and African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/countries. They also reviewed the progress of the WTO Doha negotiations and acknowledged the common platform shared by India with the African Group on the issue of subsidies to cotton farmers in developed countries.

Trade, Industry and Commerce Ministers from Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Senegal and Swaziland attended the Meeting. Senior Officials represented their Ministers for Algeria, Burundi, Egypt and Nigeria. The Meeting was also addressed by Hon’ble Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission. Ministers issued a Joint Statement after the Meeting in which they agreed to set up an ‘India-Africa Business Council’ and an annual ‘India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Dialogue’.

Bilateral trade between Africa and India was in excess of US $ 46 billion in the year 2010, and is estimated to reach US $ 70 billion by 2015. Africa-India bilateral investments reached US$ 90 billion in 2010.

The Ministers agreed to explore partnerships in the priority sectors of agriculture, education, health, pharmaceuticals, IT, skills training and infrastructure including the development of integrated clusters in sectors such as agro-processing, textiles, IT, floriculture, etc in Africa. In this regard, during an interaction between the Ministers and the CEOs of Indian and African CEOs, the Ministers launched an “India-Africa Investment E-Portal” to facilitate bilateral investments between the two regions and also to provide guidance and support to the investor community. They also attended a cultural programme presented by ICCR which was based on fusion of Indian and African dances.
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