Ethiopia prepares for the 1st China Int'l Import Expo


A woman is serving coffee during a traditional coffee ceremony in Ethiopia. (Photo: VCG)

The Eastern African country Ethiopia is looking to play an active part in the First China International Import Expo, and hopes the expo in Shanghai this November will help it attract buyers and investors.

Ethiopia-based, well reputed and successful coffee company, Garden of Coffee, will take part in November's highly awaited China International Import Expo. And the company's managing director Bethlehem Tilahum considers the expo an amazing opportunity to promote the Ethiopian different varietal coffee.

“Most of the coffee companies here and outside focus on coffee blend, they don't have any specialty coffee. At Garden of Coffee we focus on specialty coffee. It means that we don't blend coffee with different varietals, so to be able to promote that is going to be an amazing opportunity,” Tilahun explained. 

Garden of Coffee has already started reaping the rewards of engaging Chinese companies too. The managing director says doing business with China-based companies is a joy. 

“We have signed a contract with one of the biggest Chinese companies to deliver our coffee and we have already started exporting last month. And then in two year time after we build our brand specifically in China for Chinese consumers we going to be able to open a cafe like this,” Tilahun said. 

Ethiopia's agriculture-led economy has started a journey to industrialization. But over the last six to eight years, Ethiopia's economy has only been able to generate a little more than three billion US dollars a year from export trade. The government and businesses here want to change that through the 1st China International Import Expo. 

“During that expo we will try our best to show our best scenario on all aspects,” said Assefa Mulugeta, Director General of the Ministry's Export Promotion Directorate. 

“By that time we will have good production in agriculture and soon we will have good operating industrial parks and also mining. And there is peace nowadays,” Mulugeta added.  

Garden of coffee hopes to gain a lot out of the upcoming China International Import Expo, Tilahun said. “I think it's a huge opportunity. I have never been taking part in fairs ...I was in China but not for fairs or things like that. This is going to be my first time and then going with a strong partner with finished products outside Ethiopia will be amazing.”