CII organized an Interactive session with Mr. Sanjay Verma, Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union on 11 February, 2015 in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by around 16 Industry members from a variety of sectors.
Mr. AmbujChaturvedi, Executive Director, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA), welcomed the participants and he gave a brief background on OIA's impressive track record in a dozen African countries where it is undertaking projects in diversified fields.
Mr. Chaturvedi underlined the strong and historical ties between Ethiopia and India. He said that there are 608 Indian projects approved by the Ethiopian Investment Commission in Ethiopia. About 48% of Indian companies are in manufacturing and 21% in agriculture.Over the years, there have been several interactions between the Ethiopian and Indian industry which have been organised by CII. A 36 member delegation led by H E Tadesse Haile, State Minister of Industry, Ethiopia, attended the 9th Africa conclave in March, 2013 at New Delhi. Earlier, CII had organized the 2nd Regional conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in May 2006 at Addis Ababa. CII also organised The India Show, Addis Ababa from 20-22 May 2011 on the sidelines of the Second India Africa Forum Summit. A business delegation and CEOs delegation was also organised in conjunction with the India Show. Most recently, CII led a Business delegation to Ethiopia in July last year.
H.E. Mr Sanjay Verma, Indian Ambassador stated that India and Ethiopia have historical links and over the last 60 years, Indian school teachers have been going as educators to the country. Today 120 Indian professors and lecturers teach in colleges and universities in Ethiopia. He further stated that Ethiopia realizes that it has strong agriculture and its focus is on textiles/ garments, leather, food processing, etc. Almost 70% of the land is yet to be exploited.There is no other country which gets as much aid from India, as Ethiopia.Ethiopia has the economic advantage of hydropower as well.
He further highlighted that the banking sector is closed. Getting finance from local banks is not very easy. One cannot get money out of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is supposed to join the WTO is 2016 but is not sure whether it actually will.The roads in Ethiopia are good by African standards. He said that Ethiopia has one of the better road networks in Africa. India's strength lies in Healthcare and ICT. Total India – Africa trade is 70 – 75 billion dollars. Barring extractive industries, Indian investments in Africa are more than China and generate employment.
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