ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s committed leadership and endeavor to creating a positive environment for foreign investors are so commendable and helpful towards releasing its dream of becoming Africa’s manufacturing hub by 2030, says Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia.
Ambassador Robert Shetkintong told The Ethiopian Herald recently that the committed leadership here in Ethiopia is ready to listen to the needs of foreign investors and is improving situations like relevant regulations.
“Naturally, Ethiopia is creating a very, very positive environment for foreign investors to come here.”
He said there are about 617 Indian companies investing in Ethiopia creating employment to over 75,000 Ethiopian nationals. The companies have invested about 5 billion USD, of which some 3 billion USD are on the ground.
In terms of trade, Shetkintong said India is the fourth largest trading partner. In 2019, the bilateral trade was 1.2 billion USD which slightly dropped to 1.1 billion USD.
He noted that during the last one year, the COVID pandemic has created havoc, but actually, 35 new Indian projects that include two pharmaceutical plants were implemented during that period.
“It’s even a surprise to know that many of the Indian companies are actually expanding their operations they are growing they are expanding,” Shetkingtong reiterated.
He underlined that Indian pharmaceutical products and automotive are gaining good acceptance in Ethiopian market.
“The Indian medicines are of excellent international standards, they are good quality, but the prices are affordable. So, you will see that not only in Ethiopia, but probably in most of the countries in Africa, Indian medicines are available actually, probably it could be about 50 to 60 per cent of the medicines in any country in Africa from India”.
Indian three wheelers, locally known as Bajaj, after the famous Indian brand, are also becoming well known across Ethiopia that many Ethiopians in all corners are engaged in erecting assembly plants. He mentioned exemplary performance of plants in Adama and Dire Dawa that assemble Bajaj, TVS, Tata auto rickshaws, bikes and trucks.
“I have visited them and they are excellent, state of the art. They are Ethiopian owned. And when I interact with the owners, they are so happy with the business that have the standards that the Indian companies have. They say that they can only think about India.”
BY ZEKARIAS WOLDEMARIAM
The Ethiopian Herald 13 June 2021