By Rana Yehia
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb suggested the establishment of an Egyptian-Ethiopian committee headed by the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Industry of both countries in order to find ways to cooperate in these sectors.
This came during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the COMESA Summit in Ethiopia.
“In order to strengthen the bilateral relations, we are looking forward to participating with Egyptian companies and businessmen to invest in Ethiopia, and to exporting Ethiopian products needed in the Egyptian market as well. This is besides the existing domains of cooperation in several sectors. such as construction, tourism, agriculture and irrigation,” said Desalegn.
Desalegn also stressed the significance of elevating the level of representation in the bilateral committee to the presidential level, as was agreed with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during his visit, noting that this step will significantly promote bilateral relations.
For his part Mehleb noted that Egypt has large experiences in the sectors of construction and industry suggesting the creation of a joint contracting company between the two countries which will influence significantly the training of Ethiopian technical labour.
Egyptian investments in Ethiopia have amounted to $2bn divided in two parts; one part goes to investments in several sectors such as constructions, electricity and agriculture and the other part is foreign direct investment (FDI), according to Assistant Minister for Economic Cooperation with Africa at the Ethiopian-Egyptian Business Council, Ahmed Zayed.
However, the private sector’s projects on the ground are the factor that reflect the efficiency of any committee or agreement, Zayed added.