By Nihal Mounir
A total of 70 Egyptian companies participated in the fifth Ethiopian International Exhibition (ETHIO 5P) in Addis Ababa from 29 October to 2 November.
The exhibiting companies’ businesses vary between advertising, packaging, chemical industries – plastic and paints, and petrochemicals.
The exhibition witnessed a significant presence for representatives of the Ethiopian companies to discuss conducting deals with the exhibitor Egyptian companies.
Ethiopian State Minister of Industry Mebrahtu Meles said the Egyptian–Ethiopian economic relations are limited and should increase in the upcoming period especially after signing the agreement of the African blocks in June between Egypt and the three blocks: COMESA, SADC, and the East African Community (EAC).
“The Ethiopian government is ready to provide land for the investors and facilitations to fund the projects to increase Egyptian–Ethiopian cooperation and to remove investment obstacles,” Meles said.
Deputy Chairman of Chamber of Printing and Packaging Industries in the Federation of Egyptian Industries Islam Anani said the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Ethiopia amounted to $1bn in the last year. It is a small number given the size of the Ethiopian market, which is a “virgin” market for investments.
Anani said Egyptian companies face difficulties in banking transactions, whether in exchanging currency or finding it in the Ethiopian market.
He said they demanded the Ethiopian State Minister of Industry to facilitate the procedure of exporting and importing with Ethiopia.
Egyptian exports to Ethiopia registered $25.1m in the first quarter of 2015 in sectors of wires, cables, soybean oil, medicines, and palm oil. Imports amounted to $9.7m, concentrated on coffee, live animals, and gold, according to the latest statistics of the trade representation office affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry.