Interview: Ethiopian official praises strong Ethiopia-China economic ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-22 23:49:12|Editor: ZX
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ADDIS ABABA, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The spokesperson of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Billene Seyoum, has praised the strong Ethiopia-China ties, particularly the comprehensive economic relations between the two countries.

Ethiopia-China economic ties have grown exponentially ever since the two countries established diplomatic relations nearly five decades ago, Seyoum told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"China's relationship with Ethiopia over the last 50 years has been rooted in economic progress," Seyoum said, describing China as Ethiopia's "strong economic partner."

"China is a strong partner for Ethiopia's economic development, with huge investment in Ethiopia's infrastructure development and transfer of technical expertise as well," the spokesperson said.

Seyoum, who mentioned the high-level visits between officials of the two countries in recent years, said that the visit of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the East African country earlier this year "has affirmed the strong ties between the two countries."

"Over the past three and four months' period, we have seen high-level delegations coming to Ethiopia as well, notably the foreign minister of China, Wang Yi," Seyoum said.

"This is part of the continued conversation and strengthening of Ethiopia-China ties," she said.

Wang visited Ethiopia in January 2019, meeting senior Ethiopian officials, including Prime Minister Ahmed.

Wang and Ahmed, during their meeting in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, reiterated their countries' commitment to implementing the outcome of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was held in September 2018.

The two sides also vowed to further strengthen win-win cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Seyoum said, as the East African country plans to liberalize segments of its economy to attract more foreign investments, the comprehensive Ethiopia-China trading ties could receive a further boost.

"The priority Ethiopia has taken is facilitating more investments from China and other countries to come to Ethiopia," Seyoum said.

"The current Ethiopian administration has recently announced the opening-up of sectors that were not previously accessible for private sector investments such as telecom, aviation, logistics and power," she said.

"The move has created a conducive environment for Chinese businesses, which have already shown their interest," the spokesperson added.