High time for businessmen to invest in Ethiopia: Envoy

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Ethiopian Ambassador to Pakistan Jemal Beker Abdula has said that it was high time for Pakistani businessmen to invest in Ethiopia, which had lucrative opportunities in different economic sectors.

“Our government opened the financial sector some three months ago and now looks forward to the establishment of traditional banks and stock exchange in Ethiopia,” the ambassador said in a meeting with the JS Bank Founder Jahangir Siddiqui. Jemal Beker said that the current government in Ethiopia had opened its economy offering numerous opportunities to investors in diverse sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, mining, textile, health sector, tourism, and ICT.

“Our government wants to make Ethiopia a manufacturing hub of Africa as we are already producing the cheapest clean energy in the world,” he said, adding some 96.4 per cent electricity was being produced from water and Geothermal sources.

He said Ethiopia was exporting clean energy to Kenya, Sudan, and Djibouti, while efforts were afoot to sell it to other countries and ensure regional integration through energy grid. The ambassador said Ethiopia was geographically located at a very important position, and for Pakistan it would be a gateway to Africa. “We will start the Ethiopian Airline operations in Karachi by the end of this year or January 2023,” he noted.

He said the initiative would connect Pakistan with Ethiopia and boost bilateral trade significantly, which currently amounts to 78 million US dollars. Founder of JS Bank Jahangir Siddiqui expressed keen interest in business opportunities being offered by Africa and briefed the ambassador about Raast which was Pakistan’s first instant payment system.

He assured the ambassador of the representation from his company in the business delegation which would fly to Ethiopia by start of next year. Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with a delegation of Arif Habib Limited, the ambassador said there was a huge demand for construction material and fertilizer in his country. “It is a big opportunity for Pakistani businessmen who can make profits by entering the Ethiopian market right now,” he maintained. The ambassador assured them of the state guarantee on their investment and said whatever would be invested in Ethiopia would have a return in terms of profit.

He said Ethiopia was the fastest growing economy and multiple incentives have been announced for the investors by his government.”We are committed to facilitating the investors in our country, that is why we have established a one-window operation for them,” he added.

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