Led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a 60-member Israeli delegation are scheduled to take part in a business and investment mission where expectations are high to have bilateral agreements and joint ventures deals in areas of mining, water technology, irrigation, ICT and the likes.
According to the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), the business and investment ties are vowed to be strengthened as potentially capable Israeli businesses are expected to come to Addis Ababa.
Debebe Abebe, corporate communications and public relations directorate director of ECCSA told The Reporter that the Israeli business delegation is set to meet both Ethiopian government officials and their business counterparts. According to Debebe, two separate sessions are likely to be held, one with members of the business community and another with the officials.
Government officials are expected to make an investment pitch to the Israeli delegation in bid to persuade them to join the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) landscape in Ethiopia. With regards to the business to business meeting, Debebe said, a number of joint ventures deals are expected to be forged.
Hence, Israelis are invited to invest and take part in the exploration and development of the mining sector here. In addition to that, companies from Israel are sought to involve in the water sector since they are known for water technologies likes drip irrigation.
The Embassy of Israel here notified The Reporter that the draft documents for bilateral agreement which will be signed during the visit are yet to be worked out with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and opted that it is too early to foresee the potential areas for concrete engagement.
Back in 2014, led by the then foreign minister of Israel, Avigdor Liberman, an Israeli delegation has paid a visit to Ethiopia and pledged that big Israeli companies will come to invest close to two billion dollars in Ethiopia.
Liberman’s visit was accompanied by some fifty Israeli companies keen to do business in the areas of aviation, agro processing, water technology and others. The minister attended the Ethio-Israel business forum. Liberman and his counterpart Tedros Adhanom (PhD) agreed to set up a Jewish cultural museum in the northern part of Ethiopia, where the Fellasha community, people of Jewish descent, live in big in numbers. Liberman was quoted expressing gratitude for what Ethiopia had done for people of Jewish descent here. He mentioned that there are some 100 thousand Ethiopian Jews residing in Israel. Currently, Ethiopian Jews can be found in the Knesset—Israel senate and some like Ambassador Belaynesh Zibadia (Ethiopian born Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia) are able to become an Israeli diplomat.
In a related news, Chinese delegates who are expected to come in late September have tabled offers and expressed interests where they are willing to form joint ventures with local businesses in the areas of automotive and motorcycle dealerships, pharmaceuticals production and imports, leather products, agro processing and the like.