ADDIS ABABA (HAN) November 20, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. The largest ever Belgium Economic Mission to Ethiopia has been participating in a business and investment conference in Addis Ababa this week.
Senior Government officials, invited guests and representatives of more than 60 Belgian companies as well as an equal number of Ethiopian counterparts are taking part in the meeting. State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atsekesellassie who addressed participants on the strong bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Belgium, noted that Ethiopia and Belgium have had strong and excellent bilateral relations for over a century, since 1906.
Ambassador Taye said that “Foreign Assistance and Foreign Direct Investment are two complimentary sources of development Capital”. He underlined the importance of such areas as human resources development and entrepreneurship in raising the levels of private sector involvement in development.
He also stressed the investment potential available for foreign investors in Ethiopia, pointing out there were a number of excellent reasons to invest in Ethiopia. Among others, he listed the fact that the country was developing fast and steadily, that the Ethiopian government had demonstrated unwavering commitment to support investment, the wide range of sectors available including agriculture, textiles and garment, and the presence of an easily trainable young labor force.
Ambassador Didier Nagant, Ambassador of Belgium to Ethiopia, said that this was the first ever Belgium trade mission to Ethiopia and companies in various sectors including construction, technology and agro-business were attending with the intention of starting investment in Ethiopia.
The Ambassador added that Belgium was one of the most important partners of Ethiopia, politically as well as economically and socially. He said Belgium was the third largest recipient of Ethiopian exports. Ambassador Nagant described Ethiopia is an important emerging country in Africa.
Belgium, he said, was at the heart of Europe. The two could work further to strengthen their partnership and boost investment and trade. Ambassador Nagant also emphasized the Belgium government wanted to see Belgium companies invest in Ethiopia and was encouraging them to do so. MFA