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Hailemariam arrives in Beijing for ‘Road and Belt Initiative’ Forum

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn arrived yesterday in Beijing, China to attend the Road and Belt Forum for International Cooperation due to held from May 14 -15, 2017.

The Premier was warmly welcomed by high-level Chinese government officials and staff of Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing.

At the forum, which would be graced by the presence of the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, president of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagard, only two African leaders invited.

Prime Minister Hailemariam who received warm welcome by Chinese president yesterday, is expected to address the forum that attracted over 1,200 scholars, officials, media representatives and others from 110 countries and 61 international organizations.

The Forum themed: “Strengthening International Cooperation and Co-building the ‘Belt and Road’ for Win-win Development,” would remarkably increase bilateral and multilateral relations with Ethiopia that ultimately bolster economic growth.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan , China designated Ethiopia as a priority country and looks for Ethiopia’s active participation for the effective implementation of the initiative.

As to him, currently, China takes the lead in  foreign investment and the largest trading partner of Ethiopia. Though Ethio-China trade exchange volume has shown significant growth, China set to engage to narrow the trade imbalance focusing on enhancing the capabilities of Ethiopia to export more manufacturing goods.

For this to happen, the initiative would be instrumental for the expansions of export infrastructure this is why the ambassador is optimistic for the forum be a platform for Ethiopia to secure support in this regard.

During his stay, the Premier will deliberate on ways to enhance the bilateral relations with China. He is also expected to seize the visit to promote the awakening Ethiopian tourism climate for active engagement of the Chinese investors and tourists.

Ambassador La Yifan said only tiny portion of Chinese tourists visit to Africa. As Ethiopia is endowed with myriad of tourist attractions with diverse compositions, it would benefit more from Chinese involvement in the sector.

Ethiopia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Tekeda Alemu told China Daily in New York that the initiative offers opportunities for participating countries to mobilize resources and speed up development.

Many countries, including Ethiopia, have had difficulties in terms of domestic resources mobilization, and infrastructure development, which is needed to connect people, expand markets and develop cooperation, Dr. Tekeda said and added, : “ So the initiative provides possibilities for infrastructure development and the connection with resources mobilization.

“Over the last 15 to 20 years, we have achieved tremendous progress. In the role of the partnership we have with China, the partnership has been very vital in the process of development,” he said. “We hope this partnership can continue going.” he noted,

©Alleastafrica and The Ethiopian Herald

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