The Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia has partnered with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations to accelerate the work of the Zambia-Ethiopia Business Forum in fostering trade and business between the two countries.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba said government has shifted focus from political to economic diplomacy in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), in order to ensure that Zambia maximizes 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 embarked on an aggressive campaign to maximize economic benefits that Zambia could realise from Ethiopia and other countries of extra accreditation which included Sudan and Djibouti.
This is according to a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today by First Secretary for Press & Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza.
Ambassador Mwamba pointed out that trade between the two states averaged about 200 million United States dollars, which could be scaled up through increased exports of sugar from Zambia which Ethiopia needs urgently.
The Zambian envoy said this when he paid a courtesy call on Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, Getachew Regassa.
And Mr Regassa welcomed the proposed formation of the Zambia Ethiopia Business Forum, stating that it will help in fast tracking trade and investment between the private sector players of both countries.
He emphasized that the Business Forum would create a platform for the private sector to engage 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 facilitated between the two countries to promote trade.
The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce Secretary General requested Mr Mwamba to help implement the Memorandum of Understanding that the Chamber signed with the Zambia Chamber of Commerce in 2017.
He said he was happy 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.
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.
Ambassador Mwamba stressed that there’s need for the private sector players from both countries to develop strategies that would ensure that they maximize benefits from the larger free market once the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is made operational in July, 2019.