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KARACHI: Ethiopia is closely working with the government of Pakistan on climate change issues which has recently brought one third of the country underwater and caused massive loss of life and economy.

Addressing the media at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, Jemal Beker Abdula Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia said the government of Ethiopia will extend all-out support to Pakistan on climate financing and building a resilient economy through integration, adaption and technological transfer.

On the occasion, Karachi Press Club President Fazil Jamili in his address of welcome briefed about the KPC and its functions. Ibrahim Khalid, Honorary Counsel General Ethiopia, KPC Secretary Muhammad Rizwan Bhatti, members governing body Khalil Ahmed Nasir, Mona Khan, Muhammad Farooq Sami, Liaqat Mughal and former KPC Vice President Saeed Sarbazi were also present.

“Given the similarities between the two countries in different aspects, there is a marriage of convenience between them which is reflected in the demand made by the heads of both the states at the COP27 for establishment of a climate fund,” he added. He said Ethiopian Airline will start its operation in Karachi before the end of this year and enable Pakistanis and Ethiopians to travel to each others’ countries. “We have the largest pan-African airline which serves 130 international and 22 domestic destinations operating some 140 aircraft,” he added. Jemal said that recently, Ethiopia has revised its embassies in different countries of Europe and Latin America but opened its mission in Islamabad recently with a focus to boost the already flourishing bilateral ties between the two countries by promoting bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.

He said that Ethiopia has opened its embassy in Pakistan aimed to focus on economic diplomacy, investment, trade, tourism promotion, technological transfer and establishment of the institutional linkages between the two countries.

“Both the governments have so far worked on many agreements which will be instrumental in increasing political cooperation, economic engagement and people-to-people contacts through tourism promotion,” he added. The bilateral trade between the two countries is a minimal $78 million, however, the target is to take it to $300 million by the end of 2023.

“Ethiopia can contribute to Pakistan’s economic development by importing rice, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, sports items and construction material from Pakistan,” Jemal said. While, Pakistan can import wheat and agricultural products such as coffee, tea, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables from Ethiopia at affordable prices which will eventually help it mitigate the growing demand of the edible, he added.

The Ethiopian government has taken steps to address the bottlenecks for FDI, trade and business services at micro, macro and structural level has started paying dividends especially in five major economic sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism and ICT.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipoten-tiary Ethiopia mentioned that the government of Ethiopia is also giving importance to the agriculture sector and has taken multiple steps to enhance production and productivity of this sector through technological transformation innovation. The government has abolished taxes and duties on import more than 500 agriculture items which resulted in bumper crops enabling Ethiopia to become an exporter of the agricultural products. “We are planning to export wheat to Djibouti and Kenya, and would like to do the same for Pakistan where the food insecurity is looming large as per the assessment of international organizations,” he maintained.

He said some 12 Agro processing units have been established and linked with the agriculture input which will eventually transform the country and boost the economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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