Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan H. E. Jemal Beker Abdula on Tuesday said so far more than 70 businessmen have signed up for the historic trade delegation flying to Addis Ababa on March 05 for exploring business and investment opportunities.

“We are going to make history as the number of delegates we are expecting may cross the mark of 100 before the deadline for registration which is March 01,” said the ambassador while addressing a news briefing here which was entirely focused on the five-day business trip to Ethiopia.

He said a lot of effort and energy was invested in this initiative as our team worked a day in and day out to make the historic delegation a success story. “This historic trade delegation will change the entire landscape of Ethiopia and Pakistan’s bilateral relations.” H.E. Jemal Beker said the bilateral trade between Ethiopia and Pakistan amounted to only $78 million, but one thing I can assure you is that with this business delegation, our bilateral trade will get a major boost.

“In this delegation, we have included business people from different sectors of the economy especially those which have trade and investment potential in Ethiopia,” he said, adding Pakistani business community on their visit to Ethiopia would find a big market for rice, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, sports items, and construction material.

Likewise, Pakistani businesspeople could also important agricultural products such as coffee, tea, pulses, oilseeds, and vegetables from Ethiopia which would eventually help mitigate the growing demand for edibles. The ambassador said Ethiopia was the fastest-growing economy in the world offering lucrative business, trade, and investment opportunities with the cheap cost of production including clean energy and skilled labor.

“We have almost completed the largest Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with 6,500 MW capacity,” he said, adding his country had already been exporting energy to South Sudan, Djibouti, and others. H. E. Jemal Beker said the government of Ethiopia was supportive of foreign investors as it has opened up its economy and encouraged the private sector to take lead for the development of the country.

Multiple incentives and one-window services were among the other initiatives to attract Foreign Direct Investment, he added. “We are heading to become an icon of Africa under the leadership of Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed,” he maintained.

To a query, he said the trade delegation would include subsidized airfares and accommodation, business-to-business and government-to-business meetings as well as grand receptions and cultural nights hosted by the country’s leadership. Meanwhile, the press briefing was followed by celebrations of the 127th Anniversary of Adwa Victory as the day marked Ethiopia’s victory over the colonial Italian army at the Battle of Adwa on March 1, 1896.

A cake-cutting ceremony was held at the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Islamabad which was attended by a large number of media persons, the diplomatic community, and officials of the government of Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, the ambassador said the heroic people of Ethiopia had registered a big triumph on this day by fighting imperial powers on its land. “We are the only nation in Africa that never colonized in the past and that has only been made sure by our brave people.” Adwa is an icon of unity, heroism, and perseverance that led to the defeat of the modern imperial military that became a foundation for the African struggle for freedom and liberation.