China Praises Ethiopia’s Involvement in FOCAC as Important Participant

China Praises Ethiopia’s Involvement in FOCAC as Important Participant
China Praises Ethiopia’s Involvement in FOCAC as Important Participant

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. China has praised Ethiopia for its central role within the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and effective contribution in consolidating the partnerships between the two sides.

A high-level conference on revisiting Ethiopia’s role in the FOCAC and the way forward was hosted today by Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in collaboration with the Embassy of China in Addis Ababa.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Counselor of Commerce at the Chinese Embassy, Yang Yihang said since its inception in 2000, Ethiopia has been an important participant in FOCAC.

Noting that the FOCAC cooperation framework has achieved remarkable success across socio-economic domains, Yihang indicated that several significant China-Africa cooperation projects have been initiated in Ethiopia such as the Ethio- Djibouti railway.

Considering Ethiopia is the major destination of Chinese investment, the minister counselor pledged to further encourage more enterprises to seize investment opportunities in Ethiopia.

Under the guidance of FOCAC, the economic and trade relations between Ethiopia and China have also made huge breakthroughs, he said, adding that China has been the largest partner and the source of investment for Ethiopia for many years.

For instance, in terms of trade, in 2023 China and Ethiopia trade value exceeded three billion USD, he pointed out.

On the investment sphere, more Chinese enterprises have invested in Ethiopia in recent years. Last year alone, Chinese enterprises established 223 new projects in Ethiopia and created 65 thousand local jobs.

By the end of 2023, more than 500 Chinese enterprises have invested over 2000 projects in Ethiopia with a total capital of about 5 billion US dollars and creating 580 thousand local jobs.

“China is willing to further encourage Chinese enterprises to seize investment opportunities in Ethiopia and actively explore investment cooperation in infrastructure, digital economy, renewable energy, agriculture and other sectors,” he said.

Director General of Asia and Pacific Affairs at Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA), Anteneh Getachew on his part said the FOCAC has played a crucial role in shaping the economic, social, and political landscape of both Ethiopia and the African continent as a whole.

Today’s gathering seeks to foster collaboration and dialogue among stakeholders to identify opportunities for further development and strengthen the Ethiopia-China-Africa partnership, he added.

“Ethiopia’s involvement in the FOCAC serves as a testament to its commitment towards fostering mutually beneficial relationships with its international partners. Over the years, Ethiopia has emerged as a key player in the forum, actively engaging in constructive dialogue, promoting trade and investment, and advocating for sustainable development across Africa.”

The director general further explained that the FOCAC has provided a platform for Ethiopia to strengthen its ties with China and other African nations, facilitating cooperation in various sectors such as infrastructure development, agriculture, healthcare, education, and technology transfer.

Ethiopia stands at a critical juncture, poised to leverage its strengths and opportunities in order to maximize the benefits derived from the FOCAC partnership, he pledged.

Head of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Eshete Tilahun said “Ethiopia’s role within the FOCAC provides an avenue to forge stronger bonds to enhance cooperation and collectively find sustainable solutions to challenges we are faced with.”

As Ethiopia’s role in the FOCAC has been revisited, the head stated that the world has been undergoing transformative challenges. He added the global system and communities are faced with complex challenges including geopolitical tension, conflict, pandemic, climate change and other socioeconomic factors and disparities.

It is therefore Eshete urged to foster inclusive and collaborative approaches to address these pressing issues.

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