ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian and China on Monday announced their commitment to strengthen partnership in areas of strategic interest.
The two countries affirmed this during a meeting of the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu, and China's Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong, on the sidelines of the 30th AU summit, which is underway at the headquarters of the pan-African body in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
According to the statement issued on Monday by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gebeyehu and Chen have expressed their common target to strengthen the two countries' strategic partnership, with due emphasis given to partnership in development endeavors.
"China is a true partner of Ethiopia in our effort towards development and eradicate poverty," Gebeyehu said, adding that "we are happy regarding the cooperation with China."
Chen on his part also expressed China's willingness to further uplift the partnership with the east African country in all areas of common interest, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Chen lauded Ethiopia's contribution towards bringing peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region together with development of the region, it was noted.
The Ethiopian government has previously indicated that its relation with China remains one among the major priority partnerships both in the diplomatic and other sectors.
Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia's Minister of Transport, told Xinhua that Chinese engagement has benefited the east African country both in business and people-to-people relations.
China, Ethiopia's largest trading partner, is a major player in Ethiopia's investment, trade and diplomatic landscape.
In the past two decades alone, Chinese companies have invested close to 4 billion U.S. dollars in Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC).
Private Chinese firms' investment is also the single largest foreign direct investment source for Ethiopia in 2017, according to EIC.