Ethiopia, China sign 16 cooperation deals
By Mohamed Taha Tawakel, Sunday, May 04, 2014
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and China on Sunday signed 16 strategic cooperation agreements in the fields of the economy, electricity and the exploration of minerals.
The signing followed talks between Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome and visiting Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, in the presence of Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn.
The Chinese premier, who arrived in Addis Ababa earlier today, lauded Ethiopia as one of China's main partners in Africa.
He expressed satisfaction with growing relations and cooperation between both countries, expecting the new agreements to push relations forward in all fields.
The Chinese premier reiterated support to Ethiopia's development projects, especially in the fields of infrastructure, railways, communications and roads.
He said China will fund the establishment of an international road in eastern Ethiopia and a sugar factory in the northern part of the country.
Keqiang is expected to meet representatives from the Chinese business community in Ethiopia later.
On Monday, he is due to attend the inaugural ceremony of Ethiopia's first ever 80-km expressway, constructed with a loan from the Chinese Export Import Bank (EX-IM).
The expressway links Addis Ababa to the country's main southeast road, which also extends to the Port of Djibouti.
There are over 500 Chinese companies currently operating in Ethiopia with over $1.5 billion total investments.
Ethiopia-China diplomatic relations were first established in 1970.
China represents Ethiopia's number-one investor, followed by India and Turkey.
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