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India and Ethiopia Strengthen Bilateral Trade Ties during 6th Session of Joint Trade Committee

The 6th Session of the India-Ethiopia Joint Trade Committee underscored the shared commitment to enhancing economic ties between the two nations and further solidifying their mutually beneficial partnership.

Shivam Dwivedi
India and Ethiopia Strengthen Bilateral Trade Ties during 6th Session of Joint Trade Committee (Photo Source: @DoC_GoI)
India and Ethiopia Strengthen Bilateral Trade Ties during 6th Session of Joint Trade Committee (Photo Source: @DoC_GoI)

The 6th Session of the India-Ethiopia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from November 6 to 7, 2023, to bolster their economic partnership. The meeting, co-chaired by Priya P. Nair, the Economic Advisor of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and Tages Mulugeta, Lead Executive of International and Regional Trade Integration, Ministry of Trade & Regional Integration, Ethiopia, was a significant step towards advancing the already close relationship between the two nations.

Ambassador of India to Ethiopia, Robert Shetkintong, and senior officials from both sides were in attendance at the JTC, which emphasized the importance of addressing obstacles to bilateral trade and promoting economic cooperation. During the discussions, the Indian side extended an invitation to Ethiopia to explore collaboration on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) of India with Ethswitch of Ethiopia. This initiative aims to enhance the efficiency and convenience of financial transactions between the two nations.

Furthermore, India encouraged Ethiopia to consider the possibility of settling trade transactions in local currency, a move that could foster trade growth and conserve foreign exchange. The atmosphere at the 6th Session of the India-Ethiopia JTC was characterized by cordiality and forward-thinking, reflecting the enduring friendly relations between the two countries.

Both India and Ethiopia conducted a comprehensive review of their recent trade and investment ties, recognizing the immense potential for further expansion. The two nations identified various key areas for mutual cooperation, including health and pharmaceuticals, automobiles, textiles, infrastructure projects, food and agro-processing, and more.

Additionally, discussions surrounding Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) related to Standardization & Quality Assurance and Customs procedures were underway, with both sides committing to their swift conclusion. India also urged Ethiopia to expedite the finalization of a Bilateral Investment Treaty, a move that would offer increased protection and opportunities for investors from both countries.

Ethiopia, the Federal Democratic Republic, has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the African region, with an estimated growth rate of 6.4% in the year 2021-22. Bilateral trade between India and Ethiopia reached USD 642.59 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year. India stands as the second-largest exporter to Ethiopia, with Indian companies ranking among the top three foreign investors in the country.

The existing Indian investment in Ethiopia stands at approximately USD 5 billion, with substantial commitments on the ground in various sectors such as agriculture, engineering, plastics, manufacturing, textiles, water management, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

As both nations continue to explore new avenues for cooperation, the prospects for future growth in trade and investment appear promising.

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