The Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) to cooperate in the areas of investment and fair trade.
The agreement, signed on June 11, 2009, at the ECCSA conference hall, permits commodities produced in both countries to be traded in their respective markets. This will increase Ethiopia’s ability to export industrial goods, coffee, textile and leather products.
During the signing ceremony, Gashaw Debebe, secretary general of ECCSA, explained that the memorandum of understanding is targeted to diversify export goods beyond main consumer items.
“ECCSA has corporate members from the city and regional state. We will inform them of the importance of this agreement and initiate them to work with their Ukrainian counterparts,” Gashaw said. “This will also encourage both parties to work cooperatively in different sectors of the trade and investment.”
Ukrainian investors and businesses are expected to be informed of potential investment opportunities in Ethiopian agriculture and agro-processing.
ULIE is composed of various partners from governmental and non- governmental organization, as well as private businesses. The league has established cooperation and business relationships with over 100 chambers of commerce across the world and signed a memorandum of understanding with more than 85 corporate establishments. In Africa, the league has signed memorandum of understandings with two countries – Ethiopia and South Africa.
ULIE was established in 1992 in Kiev, the capital and largest city in Ukraine, following independence from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Currently it has more than 35,000 members from across 27 states of the country.
In addition to construction, civil work, infrastructure, metal products and energy production, the league is participating in the agricultural sector as well.
“Where Ethiopia’s major exporting capacity is agricultural produces, I assure you, based on comprehensive relation, we can work on promoting the products and creating interconnection on trade and investment,” Vasyl V. Krutov, vice president for Corporate Security of the Ukrainian league of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said.
He explained that the league specializes in many products and can profoundly engage Ethiopian markets in wheat, maize and rice production. He also mentioned metal used for heavy construction in products like tanks and planes as an area they can connect with Ethiopia’s market.
According to statistics from ECCSA there has been an imbalance in trade between Ethiopia and Ukraine. Between 2003 and 2007 Ethiopia imported 242 million Br and 1.2 billion Br worth of goods directly from Ukraine, respectively. In the same years the country exported 94,000 Br and 1.5 million Br worth of agricultural and industrial products to Ukraine.
- By MERGA YONAS | Addis Fortune
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