Addis Ababa [Ethiopia], Oct 5 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said India's trade and investment relationship with Ethiopia is very strong and is 'symbolic of India's commitment to African continent'.
"Ethiopia and India have been trading with each other for centuries. The trade relations between Ethiopia and India flourished during the ancient Axumite Empire from the 1st century AD. Today the economic relationship covers trade, private investment, concessional loans for infrastructure projects and development assistance, largely for capacity building," he said, while addresssing the India-Ethiopia Business Dialogue, organised to commemorate the 12th Anniversary of the India Business Forum in Addis Ababa on Thursday.
"India is now among the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia. Indian investment has made a mark in textiles and garments, engineering, plastics, water management, consultancy and ICT, education, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Indian investments in Ethiopia have had a significant presence in manufacturing and value addition to local resources," the President added.
"They have created jobs in this country and contributed to the prosperity of Ethiopian families. He congratulated the Indian Business Forum (IBF) for playing a lead role in encouraging Indian investment and promoting trade and commerce between India and Ethiopia," the President stated.
The President further said that "India's relationship with Ethiopia is symbolic of its engagement with the African continent, of which Addis Ababa is such a vital hub. At the Third India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in 2015, India had announced the offer of concessional credit of USD 10 billion over the next five years to Africa. This was in addition to the on-going credit programme."
The President further said, "We have also committed to a grant assistance of USD 600 million that will include an India-Africa Development Fund of USD 100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of USD 10 million. The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is another initiative brimming with potential."
The President invited business stake-holders in Ethiopia and Africa to partner us in these frameworks and benefit from them.
He stated that it is critical that such large projects are designed transparently and that they bring prosperity to local communities.
The talks covered a gamut of developmental and trade themes.
President Kovind mentioned India's willingness to positively consider support for power transmission projects in Ethiopia as well as announced specific assistance in the areas of healthcare, education and agriculture.
The two Presidents witnessed the signing of two bilateral agreements - the first on Trade Facilitation and the second related to the Information Communication and Media sector. (ANI)