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The Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing has organised an “Ethiopia-China Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Sellers-Buyers Matchmaking Seminar” on 11 January 2019 and a few days later in Hohhot, capital of the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, to promote opportunities in agriculture and livestock processing in Ethiopia

chinese afChinese companies to help Ethiopia’s agricultural sector. (Image source: youngrobv/Flickr)

The seminar in Beijing was planned in collaboration with China’s Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA). 10 major exporting companies from Ethiopia, led by Anteneh Zegeye, Chairman of the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors and Exporters Association (EPOSPEA), participated.

Ato Anteneh gave details of Ethiopia’s pulses and oilseeds and areas for development and cooperation. Bian Zhenhu, president of CFNA, emphasised the importance of Ethiopia for China-Africa cooperation and said the bilateral trade would benefit from the Eight Major Initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit last September. He said that Ethiopian exporters and Chinese importers should make good use of China’s economic development, its increasing market demands, upgraded consumption and further opening-up.

The Ethiopian delegation had fruitful business-to-business discussions and also visited Qingdao where they held talks with the heads of two major Chinese oilseeds and pulses importing and processing companies Yihai Kerry Oilseeds and Grains (Qingdao) Ltd. and Qingdao Bolan Group Co. Ltd. These companies are the largest buyers of Ethiopia’s sesame, oilseeds and pulses. Ethiopia is China’s biggest sesame supplier and the fourth largest supplier of agricultural products. A new market in soybeans is currently opening up.

The Forum on Investment Opportunities in Agriculture and Livestock was held on 16 January in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Office of Inner Mongolia. The forum attracted representatives from the Bureau of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, and corporate leaders from over 30 enterprises engaged in agriculture and livestock sector in Inner Mongolia.

Si Qing, director-general of Port Office of Inner Mongolia, said that Ethiopia’s agricultural resources and its relevance for animal husbandry development are aligned with Inner Mongolia’s excess capability in agricultural modernization and integrated livestock processing.

He further expressed that the readiness of the regional government and its enterprises to cooperate in modern agriculture, animal husbandry, manufacturing and infrastructural development. While the Embassy detailed strategic investment areas, economic incentives, the investment environment and infrastructural development in Ethiopia, the Forum offered a discussion of the opportunities in milk processing, leather tanning, animal medicine and vaccine manufacturing, breeding and feed processing.