Rice Exporters urged to join Trade delegation to Ethiopia

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Jemal Beker Abdula on Tuesday urged the Pakistani rice exporters to explore the Ethiopian market by joining in a five-day trade delegation flying to his country on March 05.
“The rice exporters of Pakistan will get an opportunity to connect with the right people in Ethiopia by taking part in the trade delegation which includes subsidized airfares and accommodation at five-star hotel, visits to the industrial sites and above all meetings with the top leadership of his country,” he said during a meeting with the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) at Lahore.
According to a news release, he said the Pakistani exporters could penetrate in the markets of Africa by investing in the agriculture sector and transferring their technology to Ethiopia. However, the REAP needed to develop a strategic framework to better compete with the other competitors which were selling the quality rice at affordable rates.
The ambassador said the rice exporters could play their due role in boosting the exports of their country by exporting the edibles to the markets of East Africa. Pakistan and Ethiopia had signed a trade agreement today to formalize the trade between two countries, he added.
The ambassador also briefed the REAP members on political, economic and security situation in Ethiopia and assured them of all-out facilitation in doing business in Ethiopia which had undergone a lot of transformation under the leadership of Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed.
He said the cost of production was cheap in Ethiopia which had been producing clean energy through water, solar and geo thermal sources. It was also a signatory of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which enabled the manufacturers in Ethiopia to sell their products across the continent.
There has been full investment protection guarantee in Ethiopia, he noted.

REAP Senior Vice Chairman Haseeb Khan gave a detailed briefing to Jemal Beker on the exports potential of rice in Pakistan and said there was a strong appetite in exporters to explore other markets.

He commended the efforts of Ambassador Jemal Beker for organizing the trade delegation to bring the two big nations more close. “I hope you will be able to achieve your target of increasing the bilateral trade between the two countries to $200 soon,” he added.

At the end of meeting, the ambassador addressed to different queries of the exporters and highlighted the opportunities for the Pakistani businessmen in diverse sectors of economy including manufacturing, agriculture and agro processing, textile, fertilizer, chemicals and tourism.