ADDIS ABABA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and Dalsey Hillblom Lynn (DHL) Global signed an agreement on Thursday to form a logistics joint venture with an eye to boosting their presence in the Chinese freight market.
ET Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the joint venture will be based in Ethiopia and do business in the entire continent of Africa, enhancing logistics infrastructure and connections with China and other parts of the world.
"ET is the largest connector between Africa and China on passenger and air cargo side, but with this joint venture now it's going to include sea freight and road transport, rail transport, in addition to air cargo further boosting our reach," Gebremariam said.
"More than 20 companies who have joined us in this celebration today are from China... they are going to use Addis Ababa and this main cargo facility as their main distribution hub for the rest of the continent," he said.
Amadou Diallo, DHL CEO for Middle East and Africa, said that with ET's five cargo and passenger destinations in China and DHL's hundreds of offices there, the two sides will make a significant impact in boosting freight movement between China and Africa.
"I was in DHL when we opened our first office in China in 2003, now we are operating in 500 cities in China," he said.
Diallo said the joint venture will serve the world in general.
"We operate in 220 countries as an organization... that means if we have somebody that's producing in Ethiopia, Kenya or Rwanda we can connect them via Addis Ababa to 220 countries, by using our hubs in key countries such as Dubai, Germany and China." he said.
Ethiopian Airlines, which has a majority stake in the joint venture.