7 May 2018

Ethiopia: China Trade Week Brings Chinese Suppliers, Ethiopian Customers Under One Roof

Addis Ababa — The second China Trade Week held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa came to a close on Saturday with around 50 Chinese firms showcasing their wares to eager Ethiopian customers.

The first edition of China Trade Week in Ethiopia was held in Addis Ababa from July 4-6, 2017.

The China Trade Week in Ethiopia is supported by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

The three-day event has drawn Chinese companies engaged in construction materials and machinery, electronics, food and beverage, furniture, packaging and plastics, print, daily necessities and animal healthcare.

One such Chinese firm is Divine New Energy firm which supplies solar products and solar system solutions for households and commercial customers around the world.

Zhong Ta, Deputy General Manager of Divine New Energy, told Xinhua the company's solar products are suitable for the estimated 80 percent of Ethiopians living in rural areas with little access to regular electricity.

"We focus on providing solar light system, solar home system and solar pumping system ranging from 3 U.S. dollars to about 8,000 U.S. dollars" he said.

Zhong, a first-time visitor to Ethiopia, said while he hasn't sealed a deal with an Ethiopian agent yet, he has found several potential agents who have good sales and distribution channels in the country.

Zhong mentioned Ethiopia's large population of around 100 million could even prompt his company to open a solar plant in Ethiopia in the future to reach a wider customer base with greater efficiency.

Another Chinese firm was Henan Tense Bio Tech Company Limited (HTBTC), engaging in production of agricultural animals feed and medicine.

Zhao Ying, Overseas Business Unit Head, HTBTC, said she saw that Ethiopia is at a moment where China was 30 years ago, ready for economic takeoff and her company wants to be a participant in the development of Africa's fastest growing economy.

"Ethiopia is at a stage China was 30 years ago, where small family businesses grew to be later integrated into a wider agricultural system, HTBTC with its two decades old company experience would like to work with the Ethiopian government to share knowledge," she said.

Zhao mentioned her company's top officials meeting with former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in May 2017, during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, which prompted HTBTC's participation in the trade fair.

Though, its not hard to find Chinese products in the Ethiopian market and about 50 Chinese firms participated in the 2018 edition of Chinese Trade week, Abiy Getachew, Marketing Personnel at Zerihun Worku General Electrical and building Company, said more trade shows should be organized to promote Ethiopia-China trade ties.

Getachew told Xinhua he appreciated the increase in Chinese firms showcasing their products in this year's China trade show, but said given the size of Ethiopian market more needs to be done.

"My company imports Chinese machineries and spare parts and sells it in the Ethiopian market, the increase in Chinese trade shows in Ethiopia can help me provide a variety of high quality products at reasonable price to my customer," he said.

China is already Ethiopia's biggest trading partner, with Ethiopia exporting 144.5 million U.S. dollars of goods to China in the first six months of the current Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2017/18, statistics showed.

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