ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- China has remained the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) source in Ethiopia, accounting for about 60 percent of the newly approved foreign projects in the East African country during 2019, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Report 2020 has disclosed.
The UNCTAD, which described Ethiopia as the biggest FDI recipient in the East Africa region and the fourth largest FDI destination in Africa during the just concluded 2019 in its latest economic report, also revealed that about 60 percent of Ethiopia's FDI was obtained from investors from China.
Noting that the East African country's FDI inflow during the stated period was 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, it also stressed that the reported amount had declined by about 800 million U.S. dollars as compared to the previous year, which was said to be 3.3 billion U.S. dollars.
Amid the ever-growing Chinese engagement in Ethiopia, the East African country has also acknowledged the ever-expanding Chinese investment as a vivid manifestation of the blossoming Sino-Ethiopian ties across various sectors in recent years.
On Tuesday, a high-level Ethiopian official told Xinhua that Chinese investors' ever-growing engagement across Ethiopia's industrial parks is a manifestation of the "undeniable and enduring economic and trade relations between the two countries."
"A large number of Chinese firms' investment in various industrial parks in Ethiopia could be seen as an acknowledgment of the two nations' strong and sustained bilateral relationship," Temesgen Tilahun, deputy chief of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.
Noting China's "strong business presence in Ethiopia" across various investment sectors mainly in the infrastructure development, manufacturing as well as the textile industry, Tilahun affirmed that "it is not surprising that more Chinese investors are participating in several numbers Ethiopia's industrial parks. Chinese investors are not coming here for short term benefit; instead, they start business aiming at a durable national objective."
In recent years, the Ethiopian government has attached great importance to cooperation with Chinese firms in various fields, including the construction of industrial parks along with giant Chinese companies investing in various industrial hubs, majority of which were built by Chinese experts and technologies.
Tilahun further stressed that Ethiopia -- Africa's second populous nation with an estimated 109 million total population, is yet to fully harness its potential to further attracting Chinese investment.
"My assumption is, Ethiopia is lagging from exploiting and using Chinese well-rounded development opportunities given our potential, resources, population and geographic location," said Tilahun.