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Outlook of increased trade, economic cooperation between Ethiopia and KoreaNew Year Message of Charge d’ Affaires Dinberu Alemu Wisbo of Ethiopia in Seoul

It was just after a decade of the end of Korean War, when Ethiopia and Korea had established their diplomatic relations in 1963. As it is well known, Ethiopia was one of the sixteen United Nations member countries responded to the call of UN security Council to preserve peace and security in Korean Peninsula during the Korean War.

▲Charge d’ Affaires Dinberu Alemu Wisbo of Ethiopia

Since then, the two countries have seen marked progress in their ties especially during the last two decades. Ethiopia and Korea have committed themselves to further deepen and strengthen the existing warm bilateral ties by expanding the scope of economic and social cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefits. Koreans are expected to play major role in the areas of manufacturing, namely textile, leather and agro processing. It is expected that Ethiopia’s vast raw material for industrial production and diverse mineral recourses would also attract more direct investments from Korea.
Regarding trade, it is believed that Ethiopia’s high value agricultural products such as coffee, sesame seeds, flowers, textiles, leather and livestock can be destined for the Korean market in greater numbers than now. Due to Korea’s position in the Asian market, Ethiopian products will be headed to other neighboring countries as well. As far as investment is concerned, much of Ethiopia’s potential remains untapped, especially in the areas of manufacturing namely textile, leather, food processing and others.
Ethiopia is a land of investment opportunity and has stable political and economic environment. There are many investment opportunities in the country, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, mining, hydro power and social services. The country has a large population and thus potentially one of the largest domestic markets in Africa. We believe we have an excellent investment climate for foreign investors. Some Korean companies already started investing in Ethiopia in leather and textiles industries. In the New Year, we are very keen to see more Korean companies taking part in the ample investment opportunities available in Ethiopia.

The New Year Message of the Head of Government of Ethiopia:
The Head of Ethiopian Government wished the New Year to be a year of success for all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. Ethiopia strives to realize the vision of the country to join the middle income countries by the year 2025. The country has launched the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and has successfully carried out the GTP I over the last five years. The second GTP for the coming five years is crucial to transform Ethiopia’s economy from agricultural-led economy to industrial-led economy. The Head of the Ethiopian Government called on all Ethiopians to join hands so as to realize the renaissance of the country by sustaining the registered achievements and progress.

Major events of Ethiopian in the New Year:
Ethiopia was a founding member of the UN and is home to the African Union's headquarters and the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and other organizations and institutions. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as the “political capital of Africa” due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent. Having its reputation as the political capital of Africa, Ethiopia will hold many international conferences in the New Year. In line with this, Ethiopia and Korea are working closely with African Union to host the 4th Africa-Korea Cooperation Forum in Addis Ababa, African diplomatic capital, in order to galvanize development and security cooperation in the best interest of both partners, Korea and Africa.
Celebrations in Ethiopia are great and colorful events. Important Christian holidays including Meskel (The finding of the True Cross) and Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) will be celebrated. Meskel has been celebrated in the country for over 1600 years. The word “Meskel” actually means “cross” and the feast commemorates the discovery of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) is Ethiopia’s most celebrated festival. It falls on 19th January and is the colorful festival for visitors to witness and enjoy. According to the Islamic tradition, Muslims in Ethiopia will also celebrate their numerous holidays. Besides, many other events, great or small, are celebrated in Ethiopia all year long.

What is the New Year Plan of Your Excellency?
In the New Year, the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Seoul will be fully committed to encourage and assist the Korean business community in every way possible to involve itself in investment in Ethiopia. The Embassy will strive to invite as many as Koreans to witness the real Renaissance that is currently taking place in Ethiopia. The Embassy is looking forward to cooperating with Korea in our future endeavor to further enhance the existing bilateral business relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Ethiopia considers the Republic of Korea as an important model for its economic development and social transformation. Considering the similarities on the economic development strategy of the two countries, Ethiopia is eager to benefit from the Korea’s experience in many areas. Korea is already Ethiopia’s big development partner in Asia. Experts of both countries are working side by side in many areas, including economy, human resource, knowledge sharing, as well as in areas of public health, education and forestry. However, Ethiopia has realized that some areas need more cooperation and collaboration of our partner, Korea.
Thus, the Embassy will work on creating and strengthening networks with the relevant Korean institutions in order to share their experiences and best practices in the fields that requires cooperation.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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