India to invest $4.78 bn in Ethiopia

May 21st, 2011 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Addis Ababa, May 21 (IANS) India has offered to invest $4.78 billion in various projects in Ethiopia over the next few years, of which nearly $1 billion is already on ground or in the pipeline, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Saturday.

India is the largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approved investment of $4.78 billion, Sharma said after meeting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi here.

The Indian minister, who is on a four-day official visit to Ethiopia, emphasised the need for strengthening business and economic ties between the two countries.

Sharma also co-chaired India-Africa Trade Ministers Meeting held at the African Union Commission here. The meeting took place ahead of the second India-Africa Forum Summit to be held May 24-25.

During the meeting, the ministers explored ways to establish trade and investment linkages between India and Africa through, among other things, the conclusion of trade cooperation agreements between India and African Regional Economic Communities, according to a joint statement released after the trade ministers’ meeting.

“We appreciate the establishment of an India-Africa Business Council, a mechanism to strengthen and deepen economic ties between the business communities of India and Africa; facilitate a consultative process to address the issues that stand in the way of enhancing economic and commercial relations between India and Africa, and develop a road map for business partnership,” the statement said.

“We consider that these linkages would lead to enhanced partnerships, especially in the sectors of processing of basic products and other priority sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, education, health, IT, skills training and infrastructure,” it said.

Ministers also reviewed the progress of Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organisations. The two sides expressed their commitment for early conclusion of the negotiations.

“We emphasise the development mandate of Doha round of negotiations and call for the speedy conclusion of the round and the establishment of a strong multilateral system based on mutually beneficial and balanced outcomes in agriculture, non-agriculture market access (NAMA), services and rules,” the joint statement said.

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