Ethiopia’s opening of embassy in Pakistan shows its priority on strengthening bilateral ties: Envoy

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Ambassador of Ethiopia to Pakistan, Jemal Beker Abdula on Wednesday said that Ethiopia’s decision to formally kick-started its diplomatic mission from Islamabad would help out to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between two countries.

In an exclusive interview he said that Ethiopia and Pakistan would develop a legal trade framework that further incentivizes both countries’ investors and enhances trade volume.

The Ambassador said diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Pakistan were established in 1958. So since then, both countries have had good relations and strong cooperation and support in international peace and security. Moreover, Pakistan has also supported Ethiopia in the United Nations Security Council, so it gives full support, and “we are very grateful to Pakistan for that,” he said.

Commenting about Ethiopia’s interest in CPEC, he said that CPEC is one of the grand infrastructure projects between Pakistan and China. It will link Pakistan with the rest of the world, adding that the Gwadar and Djibouti is the shortest route, and strategically it can connect Pakistan to the rest of Africa. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Railway project from Djibouti to Addis Ababa Railway has already been completed. He added that Ethiopia is looking into it and special interest in the CPEC’s project.

Answering a query related to on arrival visa policy for Pakistanis, the Ambassador said that one way to ease people to move from one place to another and that they are coming and investing in Ethiopia is ensuring that their visa process is updated and fast and reliable.

So, our government has a policy to ease visa procedures for all countries, including Pakistan, who are interested in visiting Ethiopia.

Earlier, Ethiopian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Redwan Hussain Rameto had also said, “Ethiopia is considering providing visa-on-arrival facility for businessmen from Pakistan so that they can easily visit the African nation in a bid to explore business opportunities,”

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and Ethiopia’s trade volume is around $63 million. While the exports of Ethiopia to Pakistan are about $24.6 million, Pakistan’s exports to Ethiopia are $38.6 million.

Explaining the trade volume and economic collaboration between both countries, the Ambassador said that this is a core issue where both countries need to work together and increase economic diplomacy. For instance, Pakistan has developed look Africa initiatives. This African initiative is one way that Pakistan can reach the African market.

 

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