Ethiopian Ambassador to India, Gennet Zewide, on Tuesday sought investments in the areas of textiles, leather, healthcare, milk and dairy products, tourism and chemicals to catch up with fastest growing countries such as India and China.
Addressing Indian government officials, business leaders and chamber representatives to mark the opening of the Honorary Consulate in Chennai, she said the new office would enable them to attract more Indian businesses and investments in priority sectors such as textile, leather, pharma, chemicals, manufacturing and automobile as these areas were found to be in abundance in Chennai.
“Ethiopia is a power surplus country. However, it has shortage in milk and dairy products. We welcome you. Similarly, investments can be made in the field of healthcare as we are according priority to it. We are building awareness about healthcare. We welcome investment in generic pharma to cater to the needs of 80 million people. Our Tourism Minister will be visiting India from February 7 to 12 to do intensive promotion,” she said.
Quoting World Bank, IMF and Economists forecasts, she said “Ethiopia will be the third fastest growing country following China and India this year. Ours is a developing economy. We are a poor country and working hard to develop Ethiopia to where India is at present. We are planning to transform our economy from agriculture to industry in order to join those nations that enjoy a middle income economy in the next 10 to 15 years.”
Mentioning that several Indian firms were engaged in agriculture, leather and leather products, mining and manufacturing making them as one of the biggest foreign investor in Ethiopia, she said that these investments by Indian firms took Ethiopia to yet another level.
While announcing Manikam Ramaswami, chairman and managing director of Loyal Textiles Mills, as Ethiopia’s Honorary Consul in Chennai, she said that he had not only invested in cotton agriculture and ginning, but also had spent his time and resources, experiences and expertise to make Ethiopia’s textile industry a thriving one. Ms. Zewide said that very soon Chennai would be connected with Ethiopian cities. Currently, a cargo flight was flying between Chennai and Addis Ababa.
Delivering the welcome speech, Mr. Ramaswami described Ethiopia as the fastest growing country in Africa, very safe with practically zero violence, transparent policies, transaction cost free administration, nice locations and above all it had India friendly people.
Describing Ethiopia as a favourite destination for Indian investors, he said that the key objective of the new initiative was to develop the bilateral relationship by promoting trade and investments from India.