Geeska Afrika Online

Ethiopia: Ethio-Sudan Joint Steering Committee Meeting

ADDIS ABABA (HAN) November 26, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. The 3rd Ethio-Sudan Joint Steering Committee Meeting took place in Addis Ababa on Monday (November 23).

The Ethiopia delegation was headed by Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, Coordinator of the Finance and Economic Cluster with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology and included Ambassador Abadi Zemo, Ambassador of Ethiopia to Sudan, Dr. Mebrahatu Melese, State Minister of Industry and Fitsum Arega, Director General of the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

The Sudanese delegation was led by Hassabo Mohamed Abd Elrahman, Vice-President of the Republic of Sudan and included Dr. Abderahman Mohammed, State Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. In opening remarks, Dr. Mebrahatu praised the strong bilateral relations between the two countries and emphasized the need to enhance these by increased economic, trade and investment ties.

He stressed that economic integration was the intention of both countries “at the highest level”. Director General Fitsum then presented the outcome of the Joint Technical Committee meeting that had taken place over the previous two days (November 21-22), reviewing the agreed minutes covering the discussions on Free-Zones (FZ), Special Economic Zones (SEZ), trade, customs issues, investment, banking, transport and industry.

Presenting his reflections on the outcome of the Joint Technical Committee meeting, Dr. Abderahman Mohammed, who praised the warm hospitality that the Sudanese Delegation had received, said the aim of meeting was to expand their strong and lasting relations across a wide range of economic sectors, among which he underlined banking, industry, investment, trade and the free zones.

A discussion then held on these issues by the Steering Committee. It was decided that the Joint Technical Committee would meet every month and a half and the Joint Steering Committee every three months. Dr. Debretsion subsequently told the press that the main aim of the meeting had been to establish Free-Zones and Special Economic Zones (SEZ), which would enhance trade, economic and business relationships between the two countries and increase the joint trade and investment ties and the strong bi-lateral relationship.

Dr. Debretsion said the transport sector partnership between the two countries was going well though it was not yet as effective as the one currently operating with Djibouti. Dr. Debretsion particularly emphasized that the meeting had discussed opening a joint project office to follow up progress. The two countries had agreed to share experiences in a number of areas including railways and investment.

Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abd Elrahman stressed that Sudan and Ethiopia were strategic partners and had strong political relations but he emphasized that this should also be backed by win-win-economic relations. He underlined the importance of developing the banking sector which, he said, was central to other economic, trade and investment ties. MFA


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