JAIRAM RAMESH CALLS FOR STREGTHENING ECONOMIC TIES AT 4th INDIA –ETHIOPIA JOINT TRADE
Date : 06 Jun 2006
Location : New Delhi
Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce has called for expanding the existing areas of trade & investment between India and Ethiopia and also to find new areas of cooperation between the two nations. The Minister who was speaking at the Inauguration of the 4th India-Ethiopia Joint Trade Committee meeting (JTC) here yesterday proposed that different Indian Delegations would visit Ethiopia in the next 60 days to look for possibilities. These would include delegations of National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT)-for IT training in Ethiopian educational institutes; Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS)-to explore possibilities in Infrastructure project in Ethiopia by Indian Companies; BHEL – to explore long term partnership in Energy; Council of Leather Exports- to explore possibility of sourcing raw hides and skins from Ethiopia and a delegation of Tea Board for cooperation and development of Ethiopian Tea Sector.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ahmed Tusa, State Minister of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia, who led the Ethiopian delegation, referred to the widening Trade Gap between the two nations and requested the Indian side for S&D Tariff Treatment, Technical and Capacity Building support and Financial Assistance. He stated that encouraging Indian investors to invest in Ethiopia would be the prime vehicle to narrow the Trade Gap.
Both sides agreed to cooperate in the areas of Infrastructure, Agriculture trade, textiles, IT, Pharmaceuticals, Power & Energy etc. Both countries also agreed to start negotiations on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and expressed willingness to sign the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at the earliest. Further, Shri Jairam Ramesh also offered the help of Indian WTO experts for Ethiopian accession to WTO. Later, both the Ministers signed the Agreed Minutes.
Ethiopia is the second most populous country of Africa. The current trade between the two countries is to the tune of US $ 170 million. The JTC was held in accordance with the Trade Agreement signed between the two countries on March 6, 1997 in New Delhi. The next Joint Trade Committee Meeting will be held in Addis Ababa at a mutually convenient date.