Ethio-Israeli Business Forum will add more momentum to foster long-standing relation between the two countries in investment, trade and technology transfer, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said.
While addressing the forum held here today, the Premier said “Israel is not a new comer in investing in Ethiopia; it had been engaged in various agriculture related investments” referring to the FDI flow in horticulture, integrated farming, crop production and manufacturing has been growing over the past twenty years.
The two countries have adopted a bilateral investment production and protection agreements to support this he said.
Saying Ethiopia is furnishing a conducive environment in light manufacturing industry and modernizing the agriculture system, Hailemariam called on Israeli investors to apply their wealth and expertise in these areas so as to help the nation modernize agriculture and build a light manufacturing hub in the continent.
He said nation is pursuing a new strategy regarding the setting up of agro-parks in various parts of the country, he pointed out that energy, ICT development and mining could also be other areas of collaboration.
Ethiopia is steadily increasing its clean and sustainable energy capacity; considering potential regional energy markets.
The Premier said “We attach great importance to ease of doing business and we are learning from many friendly countries that have made it possible”, he added “We would like to forge cooperation with Israel in this direction.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the relationship between the two countries need to be enhanced.
He said the ties between the two countries should not to be bound to cultural and religious relations.
As Ethiopia has a vast potential in the agriculture sector, Netanyahu said this is a good opportunity for Israeli companies to engage in.
Ethiopian Investment Commissioner Fitsum Arega explained the country’s potential to the Israeli investors who accompanied PM Netanyahu, saying it is ‘appropriate destination’ for Israeli investors.
The Commissioner noted that the nation’s vision of becoming industrial hub and efforts being exerted towards this end will provide a vast opportunity for investors.
Fitsum Arega also said Israeli companies that engage in agriculture sector “could not find a better place than Ethiopia” to make investment, referring to the 74 million hectares land appropriate for agriculture and its potential in animal resource.■ (ENA)
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