Russian-Ethiopian Business Forum at the Chamber, Reps of the Business Discuss Cooperation

The Russian-Ethiopian business forum was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on February 5.

Opening the meeting, which was held with the participation of numerous representatives of Ethiopian and Russian business, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Padalko emphasized the importance of direct cooperation between the parties without the participation of foreign intermediaries: be it in agribusiness, metalworking, construction or the purchase of flowers from Ethiopia.

The Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry especially noted the role of regional chambers in cooperation with Ethiopia in cities such as Nizhny Novgorod, Tula, St. Petersburg, Lipetsk and, of course, Moscow. He emphasized that in order to solve many problems, including easing the problem of mutual settlements, it is necessary, first of all, to increase trade turnover. Vladimir Padalko welcomed Ethiopia's accession to BRICS and emphasized that despite the low level of trade turnover between our countries, there is potential for trade development, which should be facilitated by more intensive dialogue between representatives of the business community. At the same time, the Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted the positive dynamics of trade turnover growth.

According to the Ambassador of Ethiopia to the Russian Federation, Cham Ugala, who spoke at the Forum, political relations between the two countries, which traditionally remain at a high level, must be supported by solid economic relations. The head of the diplomatic mission noted that his country is, as he put it, the gateway to Africa and called on Russian business to invest in this country.

In the speech of the Chairman of the Coordination Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM), Igor Morozov, it was noted that the new market that is opening in the African direction is a new impetus for expanding trade. He noted that the AFROCOM office, which opened in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Abba, became the place where “we developed models for the work of Russian regions in Africa.” According to Igor Morozov, conditions in Ethiopia are among the best in Africa and state support should be received for their use through the creation of a direct investment fund and the development of banking cooperation. Including a system that would allow small and medium-sized businesses to work better and would give good returns, he emphasized. The head of AFROCOM especially noted that Russia is one of the most advanced countries in the field of digital technologies and can be useful to Ethiopia in this regard.

The President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sectoral Associations, Mr. Melaku Ezezew Ienyeneh, presented in detail the capabilities of his organization to develop bilateral trade relations.

The head of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vladimir Platonov, believes that there is no more promising market than the African one. Talking about the positive experience of his studies at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, he noted that student friendships and connections that have developed over the years allow entrepreneurs to find new and use old partners. “Moscow has become a convenient city for Muscovites and for foreign tourism,” noted the head of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Advisor to the General Director of EXPOCENTER Nikolay Gusev presented to the meeting participants the capabilities of his organization, which is a subsidiary of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and proposed holding its presentation in Addis Abba.

Presentations on Ethiopia's investment opportunities at the forum were made by Ms. Hannah Arayasellasi, Head of the Ethiopian Investment Commission. She noted that Ethiopia has a favorable investment climate that is attractive to Russian investors who are welcome in this country.

Mr. Ababi Demissie, Director General of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the tourism and export potential of Ethiopia. He highlighted that Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee on the African continent, fresh flowers and fresh or dried fruits. He described Ethiopia as the country of origin of many things and phenomena, where tourism remains a priority sector.

Next, Michael Endale, regional manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Russia, spoke about the restoration of direct cargo and passenger air service between Russia and Ethiopia. He especially emphasized the cargo depot capabilities of Ethiopian airports.

The speakers answered numerous questions from business forum participants regarding specific examples of entering the markets of two countries.

An exhibition of goods from Ethiopia, including leather goods, seeds and coffee, took place in the lobby of the Congress Center of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Before the start of the Forum, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Padalko and Igor Morozov met with the Ethiopian delegation.


By Peter Cheremushkin, 

Press Service of the Chamber