The Ethio -Norway Business seminar has kicked off in the capital Addis Ababa. H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit held a speech at the High-level Business Forum at the Hilton Addis Nov 7, 2017.The Royal Couples are accompanied by a large business delegation, who are looking for partnerships and opportunities in the Ethiopian market. The business seminar is jointly organized by Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Norway and Virke (the Enterprise Federation of Norway) as well as the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa.
During the seminar Ato Elias Geneti, President of Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, has made a welcoming speech. According to him the current trade and economic relations between the two countries has not reached to a satisfactory level. This state of affairs does not impose any feeling of pessimism related to the trade volume and economic ties, he said. It rather signifies a great deal of opportunity for the future. Trade volume between the two countries during the period, 2012-to date/2017/, has reached USD 67.7 million.
Although the trade balance seems to slightly favor Ethiopia where Ethiopia’s export to Norway exceeds its import by just USD 23.5 million during the same period, the trade volume still remains very low when compared to the huge potential for growth and our import and export trade experiences with several other countries.
The Business summit was officially opened by Ato Ahmed Abetew, Minister of Industry, FDRE. He called upon Norwegian companies to see for themselves in the ever-growing Ethiopian market. This is what others did years ago and now they are everywhere taking part and benefiting from their ventures in agriculture, agro processing and manufacturing, according to the Minister.
Some of the major goods exported to Norway include: Coffee, Roses and Natural Honey. On the other hand, the major imported commodities from Norway include: Prefabricated buildings, machines and Fertilizers. The fact that the trade relation between the two countries has significantly increased in 2016 with a growth rate of 22.3% is a promising trend which signals even better performances in the future.
Ms. Vibeke Madsen CEO Virke, the Enterprise Federation of Norway said this Business Seminar is important for it to brings together key representatives from the business sectors of the two countries and discuss the most timely topic of common interest under the theme ‘Trade and Investment Opportunities in Green Growth Strategies’.
Panel discussions and plenary sessions were conducted. More than 40 Norwegian companies were part of the business delegation seeking opportunities in Ethiopia. Good number of Ethiopian Companies were attended the event.