Ethiopia can play key role for Pak-African economic, trade integration; envoy

ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Ambassador of Ethiopia to Pakistan, Jemal Baker Abdullah on Thursday said that Ethiopia can play major role in the economic and trade integration of Pakistan in the African region.

In the African region, Ethiopia has a prominent position in economic,commercial and political terms, as Pakistan has special importance due to its location, he said in his keynote address at the Interactive forum on “Ethiopia-Pakistan relations and future
cooperation prospects” hosted by the Center of Pakistan and International Relations(COPAIR) under its project Digital Diplomacy in collaboration with international journal “Pakistan in the World”. The COPAIR is Islamabad-based think tank where media groups, TV Anchors, and office bearers of National Press Club Islamabad attended the event held on 20 September 2022.

The Ambassador said that Ethiopia can play its best role in connecting Pakistan with the potential market of the African region and in the same way, Ethiopia can further improve economic and trade relations with Central Asian markets and China through Pakistan.
He said that at this time, African countries were developing the concept of digital diplomacy to connect themselves with the world’s trade markets, which Ethiopia is also doing a great job.

He said at present, we are moving through the digital age while there is a tough competition in the world for mutual trade and economic cooperation. He said that the whole world is currently working on a digital economy due to which the economic and trade distance between countries is reducing. He said that there were many opportunities in mutual trade of technology and agricultural products between Pakistan and Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian envoy said we can import rice and sugar from Pakistan, similarly there are many opportunities for Pakistan in the Ethiopian market. He said that the construction sector, steel and chemical sectors were very important for export cooperation from Pakistan.

He said that 95 percent electricity in Ethiopia was generated by hydel power, the source of which is the Nile River.

The Ambassador said that both the countries could use their geo-strategic importance for geo-economic benefits, for which numerous opportunities would be available in future.
He said that there were many similarities between the African and Asian countries which would be helpful for the improvement of mutual relations.

Jemal Baker Abdullah said that coffee, tea and honey were the main exports of Ethiopia and there was a big market for it in Pakistan. He said the Embassy of Ethiopia in Pakistan is currently open, before that diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Ethiopia had started in 1950, adding that that there were many investment opportunities for Pakistani investors in Ethiopia for which Special Economic Zones were very important.

Talking to the iterative session, Chairman COPAIR Amina Malik said that this era was of digital economy through which relations between countries and regions would increase.
She said that there were vast opportunities in the field of tourism between Pakistan and Ethiopia.

On this occasion, senior journalist and editor, Azkar Tazhin Akhtar said that more work was needed to improve mutual trade and economic relations between the two countries. He highlighted the commonalities between the two countries from the history of Islam to the present day world.