This month the Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing organized an “Ethiopia-China Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Sellers-Buyers Matchmaking Seminar” on January 11 and a few days later in Hohhot, capital of the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, an investment forum promoting opportunities in agriculture and livestock processing in Ethiopia.
The seminar in Beijing was planned in collaboration with China’s Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA). 10 major exporting companies from Ethiopia, led by Anteneh Zegeye, Chairman of the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors and Exporters Association (EPOSPEA), participated. Ato [Mr] Anteneh gave details of Ethiopia’s pulses and oilseeds and areas for development and cooperation. Mr Bian Zhenhu, President of CFNA, emphasized the importance of Ethiopia for China-Africa cooperation, and said the bilateral trade would benefit from the Eight Major Initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit last September. He said Ethiopian exporters and Chinese importers should make good use of China’s economic development, its increasing market demands, upgraded consumption and the further opening-up.
The Ethiopian delegation had fruitful business-to-business discussions and also visited Qingdao where they held talks with the heads of two major Chinese oilseeds and pulses importing and processing companies Yihai Kerry Oilseeds and Grains (Qingdao) Ltd. and Qingdao Bolan Group Co. Ltd. These companies are the largest buyers of Ethiopia’s sesame, oilseeds and pulses. Ethiopia is China’s biggest sesame supplier and the fourth largest supplier of agricultural products. A new market in soybeans is currently opening up.
The Forum on Investment Opportunities in Agriculture and Livestock was held on January 16 in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Office of Inner Mongolia. The forum attracted representatives from the Bureau of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, and corporate leaders from over 30 enterprises engaged in agriculture and livestock sector in Inner Mongolia. Mr Si Qing, Director-General of Port Office of Inner Mongolia, said Ethiopia’s agricultural resources and its relevance for animal husbandry development, are aligned with Inner Mongolia’s excess capability in agricultural modernization and integrated livestock processing. He expressed the readiness of the regional government and its enterprises to cooperate in modern agriculture, animal husbandry, manufacturing and infrastructural development. While the Embassy detailed strategic investment areas, economic incentives, the investment environment and infrastructural development in Ethiopia, the Forum offered discussion of the opportunities in milk processing, leather tanning, animal medicine and vaccine manufacturing, breeding and feed processing.
During the visit to Hohhot, the Embassy delegation, led by Charge d’Affaires, Ephrem Bizuayehu, visited Jinyu Bio-Technology Company, one of the largest animal health companies in the world, with its state-of-the-art animal medicines and vaccines manufacturing park, as well as the China Mengniu Dairy Company. It met Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Inner Mongolia, Mr Fu Yongchun; they agreed to forge a “sister regions’ partnership” and institutional twinning to enhance people-to-people relations.