Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed landed in France yesterday, making his first stop in his Euro tour.
The PM will meet the French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris to further up their discussion on strengthening their economic co-operations.
Revealing on Twitter, the chief of staff Fitsum Arega said the two sides are expected to have bilateral discussions on several issues such as regional security, Ethiopia’s ongoing reform, trade, and investment. Abiy is in Paris on the invitation of Macron dating back to June 2018.
The President of the French Republic visited the Ethiopia last on 25 May 2013 during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity. Since then, the Franco-Ethiopian dialogue has progressed with French and Ethiopian ministers making visits to each other’s country.
Abiy is expected to visit Germany and take part in the G20 Investment Summit with the Compact with Africa, CwA, nations scheduled today.
In 2016, Ethiopia exports to France was $37.37 million, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. Its main exports are agricultural products which include coffee, tea, mate and spices which accounted for 87 percent of its total export to record a $32.52 million value. The value export of articles of apparel same year was $1.31 million.
Last year, Ethiopia became France’s third-biggest market in sub-Saharan Africa. France had a structural trade surplus of $688 million for the first half of 2017. France is among the main European investors, after the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands.
French Development Agency has as well supported several projects in Ethiopia with the public financial institution investing in financial aid. The French government agency has supported over $375 million worth of projects cutting across infrastructure and energy as it seeks to widen the bilateral ties between the two nations.
Further trade and investments are expected to boost the economic performance of Ethiopia.