Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros, today (February 27th) held discussions with Netherland's Minister for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Mrs. Liliane Ploumen, on bilateral, multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. Mrs. Ploumen, who expressed appreciation of the way Ethiopia's socio-economic situation was developing, emphasized the Netherlands readiness to deepen relations with Ethiopia. It was, she said, committed to continue supporting the development and democratization process and its achievement of the Millennium Development Goals both bilaterally and multilaterally through Government channels and through NGOs. She noted the role of NGOs in supporting development and democratization and in complementing transparency. Mrs. Ploumen said Ethiopia's speedy accession to WTO and the Government efforts to strengthen foreign currency reserves would contribute to encouraging involvement of the Netherland's business community in Ethiopia. She also welcomed the positive contribution Ethiopia continues to make to peace and security in the region, in particular in encouraging Sudan and South Sudan to resolve their outstanding issues peacefully and as soon as possible. She emphasized her government's readiness to continue dialogue and formalize agreements for dialogue with Ethiopia.
Dr. Tedros underlined the Government's commitment to development and democratization and the need to expand the economic relations between Ethiopia and the Netherlands. He noted the Government's full recognition of the positive contribution that Charities and Civil Societies could play, emphasizing that the new CSO law has created a more conducive environment for NGOs to have a genuine and constructive contribution. Government channels for aid, however, had smaller overhead costs and a better success rate in helping the Government's successes in progress to the MDGs. Dr. Tedros underlined Ethiopia's commitment to expedite its accession process to WTO and its determination to complete the process not later than 2015, adding that Government was preparing a roadmap on modalities of liberalizing the financial sector. This, he said, would address lots of the related concerns in this area. Dr. Tedros said the Government was working to widen its foreign currency sources, and an investment committee led by the Prime Minister was now meeting every month to address concerns of the business community. Mrs. Ploumen is on an official visit to Ethiopia leading a delegation taking part in the 17th Addis Chamber International Trade Fair (ACITF) which ends today (February 27th).