12 December 2017

Ethiopia: Ethio-Norway Cooperation Taking Shape - Amb.

Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia Andreas Garder said the diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Norway is taking shape through widening their partnership in wide range of areas.

In his recent interview with Addis Zemen daily the ambassador said the two countries have forged strong and strategic cooperation in different aspects.

He said the recent visit by Norwegian Crown Prince and Crown Princess in Ethiopia is the manifestation of the ever consolidated relations of the two countries.

Ambassador Garder said Ethiopia's presence at the international forums is growing and leaders of many countries are visiting the country. This in turn has enabled the country to attract considerable amount of trade and foreign direct investment.

The ambassador said his government is committed to support Ethiopia's efforts to fulfill international commitments. " For instance, we are supporting the efforts to improve the accessibility in primary school in the country. My government commended Ethiopia's attention to education sector. We really appreciate 25 percent of its budget allocation to the sector."

He said Norway supports 10 million USD for the sector annually.

The two countries have come to realize that there is a need to increase their trade and investment cooperation, he said adding, efforts are underway for Norwegian investors to engage in meat, horticulture, pulp, renewable energy development.

For instance, YARA International, a giant Norwegian company has already started its engagement in potash development in Afar State with 730 million USD, he said. Norwegian Investment Agency has set plan to widen Norway's investment in Ethiopia.

The ambassador said the direct fight to Oslo by the Ethiopia airlines is expected to advance the trade and investment ties between the two countries.

He said the country has registered fast economic growth which is visible and the country is embarking upon export led activities in its second Growth and Transformation Plan.

The ambassador said the construction of the Great Renaissance Dam is amusing. It is a giant project not only for Ethiopia but also for neighboring countries to satisfy their energy need."

With regards to peace and stability in the horn, Ambassador Gardner said Ethiopia is a key player. As Norway is interested to ensure peace in the region, it is working closely with Ethiopia that is influential nation in IGAD.

" We appreciate Ethiopia's role and contribution in ensuring peace and stability through its open door policy to refugees." Unlike many countries, Ethiopia is offering opportunities to work and get access to refugees out of the camp, he said adding Norway would extend support for Ethiopia's refugee policy.

Ambassador Garder said Norway and Ethiopia have been working closely in climate change since 2011. For instance, Norway was the first country to sign the Derban deal with Ethiopia.

Ethiopia's climate resilient economy is popular and has enabled the country to be the advocate of countries suffering from climate change burden; he said adding this has attested the country's leadership in climate change negotiation.


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