22 October 2016

East Africa: Ethiopia, Sudan Broadening Ties

Ethiopia and Sudan enjoy age-old relations in religious and and cultural spheres. Nowadays the two countries strengthened their relations to harness business and trade potentials.

Closing the 4th Ethio-Sudan Joint Economic Committee Meeting yesterday Dr. Debretsion Geberemichael Finance and Economic Cluster Coordinator with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister said the two countries trade and economic relations determine their destiny. Hence, based on a win-win principle both countries should be committed to seize the opportunity coming up from their long-standing relations.

Dr. Debretsion, who is also Minister of Information and Communication Technology, said to strengthen trade and investment relations connecting the two countries through road, railway and air transport is vital which is growing from time to time.

Furthermore, opening one-stop boarder post, strengthening custom and tax services in the preferable areas is essential to facilitate smooth boarder trade, he said.

He also said so there are many agricultural and industrial products the two countries are already trading with easy transaction cost. To broaden trade and benefit people engaged in the sector should be encouraged by providing more incentives, he added.

Dr. Debretsion also said that Ethiopia's access to Port Sudan and the plan to establish economic and trade zone in the inland territories help the two countries to benefit a lot. According to Debretsion, the economic ties should be farsighted to benefit the next generation.

Sudanese Vice President Hasbu Mohammed Abdurahman also said Ethiopia and Sudan have strategic relations manifested by cultural, economic and trade ties.

In addition to these, investors from both countries are engaging in agriculture and manufacturing which raise the level of economic cooperation. Hasbu further said that to advance the two countries' common economic interest, offices have already been established both in Khartoum and Addis Ababa.

And for smooth financial transaction, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia would open branch in Khartoum before the end of this European year. Sudan also will open correspondent bank in Addis Ababa.

The Vice President of Sudan also stressed the need for giving due attention on curbing illegal boarder trade between the two countries.

"If illegal trade continues unabated, it may bring an unwanted consequences on the economies of the two countries."

Later, the two countries signed agreement to develop fishery and livestock sector as the two countries have tremendous potential in the areas. They have also agreed to create common free trade zone.

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