Chinese investments in Ethiopia over the past two decades have created job opportunities for many Ethiopians, said Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs Aklilu Hailemichael on Friday.
The state minister made the remarks at China Zhejiang-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Symposium co-hosted by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade Zhejiang Provincial Committee (CCPIT Zhejiang) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The government of China and companies from China have over the past two decades "invested significantly in Ethiopia, creating job opportunities for a large number of Ethiopians," Hailemichael said.
"My country also expects even more through the Belt and Road initiative that China launched with a focus on economic cooperation and connectivity among nations," he said.
He noted that the growing investment and trade ties between "the two sisterly countries" are part of Ethiopia's "historic relations with China covering a range of areas including but not limited to trade, culture, education and development cooperation."
"The relations between the two sisterly nations have been based upon diplomatic adherence, mutual respect, win-win formulation, shared development and mutual understanding," he said.
The state minister added that the diplomatic and investment importance Ethiopia attached to China can be best explained in terms of the largest number of representations the East African country has in China as compared to any other country in the world.
According to the ministry, the Chinese government and companies from China have over the past two decades been heavily involved in various development projects in Ethiopia, including the operational Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway and the Addis Ababa Light-Railway, roads, hydro-electric power, telecommunication, airports expansion, water development, manufacturing and various other development areas.
Liu Yu, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy to Ethiopia, said that the investment and trade opportunities presented by the Chinese companies from Zhejiang province are in line with the eight major initiatives announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, together with African leaders, during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which include industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and people to people exchange.
Zhang Qingshan, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Zhejiang Provincial Committee (CCPIT Zhejiang), noted that China is the biggest trading partner of Ethiopia, adding that "our business trip here has become an example of the broader China-Africa cooperation."