Qatari bank looks into business opportunities in Ethiopia

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Ruth Brook

Ethiopia and Qatar explored new realms of their longstanding relationship this week during a business match-making event on Monday, January 27th 2020 in Addis Ababa. The event served to promote trade and investment between the two countries and witnessed more than 200 business to business meetings between Ethiopian and Qatari companies.
The trade mission was spearheaded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) – a government entity based in Qatar- and was held with the intention of merging Qatari companies with potential Ethiopian agents, importers, distributors, wholesalers, local businesses and government agencies. It was highlighted that the current trade balance between the two nations is currently in favor of Qatar, the two countries are in talks to work to create a more balanced outcome.
The event was described as a “golden opportunity between the two countries” by State Minister of Trade and Industry Teka Gebreyesus, who inaugurated the event. He further stated that the partnership with Qatar would enhance agricultural, real estate, transport, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries in Ethiopia.
“The visits of the Qatar business delegation to Ethiopia is vital in terms of building a platform for communication and cooperation between enterprises of the two countries, and it has a great significance in promoting industry match-making between the two countries”, he expressed.
More than 180 potential Ethiopian business partners were in attendance, in hopes of building a mutually beneficial trade relationship with Qatari companies. On the Qatari end, a wide array of industries were represented; 21 exporters including manufacturers of plastic products, electrical products, pipes and tubes, medical products, construction products, woven plastic bags, paper based products and aluminum based products were present with samples as well as information regarding their companies.
The event was set up encourage face to face dialogue between the exporters and potential Ethiopian business partners.
“This is a modern business movement that is beneficial for Ethiopia’s growth,” said entrepreneur Yirgalem Fisseha, whose interest at the matchmaking event focused on construction productions.
Qatar Development Bank was established in 1997 with the purpose of diversifying the Middle Eastern country’s economy and empowering Qatari small and medium enterprises to develop their export potential and reach international markets.
“The Matchmaking initiative visit comes under emanates from QDB’s strong belief that commercial relationships are of great importance in promoting dialogue between nations,” said Hamad Salam Mejegheer, QDB Executive Director of Export Development and Promotion during his keynote speech.
Also present were Ethiopian dignitaries Engineer Melaku Ezezew, President, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association, Temesgen Tilahun, Deputy Commissioner, Ethiopia Investment Commission.
The full day affair was held at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Addis Ababa; it was ensued by site-visits and detailed meetings during the rest of the week.