The Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia has collaborated with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations in order to boost the work of the Zambia-Ethiopia Business Forum in strengthening trade and business linkages between the two countries.
Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, said, “government has shifted focus from political to economic diplomacy in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), so as to make sure that Zambia gains maximum benefits from countries of accreditation in Foreign Missions.
Ambassador Mwamba who is also Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said, “the Embassy has since commenced on an aggressive campaign to increase economic benefits that Zambia could gain from Ethiopia and other countries of extra accreditation which also involves Sudan and Djibouti.
Ambassador Mwamba highlighted that trade between the two states averaged about 200 million United States dollars, which could be encouraged through increased exports of sugar from Zambia which Ethiopia needs urgently.
Getachew Regassa, Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, welcomed the proposed formation of the Zambia Ethiopia Business Forum, stating that it will benefit in fast tracking trade and investment between the private sector players of both countries.
He highlighted that the Business Forum would create an opportunity for the private sector to involve and discuss trade and investment opportunities existing in both countries.
Mr Getachew said it is through platforms like the business forum that business delegation visits can be accelerated between the two countries to promote trade.
The Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the chamber with the Zambia Chamber of Commerce in 2017, the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce Secretary General requested Mr Mwamba to help implement the same.
Mr Getachew said it was important that the MoU signed between the two Chambers of Commerce is actualized to cement trade and business ties between the two nations.
He said he was glad that Ambassador Mwamba has expressed commitment to revive the MoU and go a step further to propose the establishment of the Zambia-Ethiopia Business Forum between the two countries.
Ambassador Mwamba stressed that there’s need for the private sector players from both countries to develop strategies that would enable that they maximize benefits from the larger free market once the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is made functional in July, 2019.