Qatar and Ethiopia have established close and distinguished relations, based on historical ties and a common desire and keenness to develop them and to open wide horizons of opportunities and areas of co-operation in various political, commercial, economic, investment and other fields.
The visit of Prime Minister of Ethiopia to Doha Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali, took place yesterday in this context.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, met Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali at the Amiri Diwan to discuss bilateral relations and the prospects for their development, in addition to a number of issues of common concern.
The visit also gives new support to the co-operation between the two friendly countries, and will inaugurate more investment opportunities of mutual benefit.
The visit also represents a new qualitative leap forward in the relations between the two countries, which was inaugurated by the exchange of diplomatic relations in 1995, as well as bilateral and reciprocal visits at the level of senior officials of the two countries, notably the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Ethiopia in April 2017.
Ethiopia was the first leg of his tour of several African countries.
A joint statement was issued on the occasion of the visit reflecting the strong commitment of the two leaderships to promote friendly relations and co-operation between the two countries and the two friendly people, and stressed the need for increased co-operation in regional and international issues of common concern.
The statement also stressed the importance of co-ordinating efforts with the international community in combating terrorism, which is considered as a threat to peace, security and stability in East and West Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf region and the world.
Prime Minister at that time Hailemariam Desalegn expressed appreciation for the role of Qatar in resolving conflicts in the Horn of Africa and in Darfur region of Sudan.
For his part, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani praised Ethiopia’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa within the framework of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development of East African States (IGAD). The Amir expressed Qatar’s readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of drought across Ethiopia, supporting the Ethiopian government’s efforts to develop education, health, infrastructure and energy, as well as funding the establishment of a specialist renal hospital.
In the area of trade and economy, the two leaders affirmed their desire to strengthen their economic co-operation in the public and private sectors.
The Amir also gave directions to establish a loan portfolio for small and medium enterprises in order to create jobs for young people.
The two leaders also agreed to promote political dialogue and consultations between the two countries and affirmed their keenness to participate in the efforts of the international community to maintain peace and security in their regions and in the world.
In November 2017, the then prime minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, visited Qatar and held talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the Amiri Diwan, where they discussed bilateral relations and means of enhancing and developing them in various fields, especially in the fields of economy, tourism and investment.
They discussed a number of regional and international issues of interest to both countries, especially developments in the Middle East.
Following the meeting, the Amir and Hailemariam Desalegn witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding between the two countries, including an agreement between the defence ministries of the two countries on defence co-operation, an agreement on cancelling visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and private passports, as well as an agreement on mutual encouragement and protection of investment. There are several agreements and memorandums of co-operation signed between the two countries which regulate the bilateral relations between Doha and Addis Ababa.
They include the establishment of a joint committee for co-operation between the governments of the two countries; an agreement on economic, commercial and technical co-operation between them; an agreement on regulating the use of Ethiopian workers in Qatar; an agreement on encouraging mutual protection of investments between the two countries and avoiding double taxation and prevention of financial evasion; and an agreement on cultural co-operation.
The MoUs include a memorandums of understanding between Qatar Mining Company and the government of Ethiopia, a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of bilateral consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, a memorandum of understanding in the field of education, higher education and scientific research, a memorandum of understanding between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Ethiopian counterpart, and a memorandum of understanding on Qatar Airways flights.
In last January, Doha hosted the Investment Forum in Ethiopia, where the Ethiopian side presented investment opportunities to Qatari businessmen in agriculture, manufacturing, services, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and others.
Ethiopia is the ninth largest country in the continent, with more than 1mn square kilometres, but it is the only country in the region that lacks direct access to the open ocean.
It is also “the cradle of humanity” thanks to its rich history and rich cultural heritage.
It is classified as the only country in the continent that has not been subjected to Western colonialism in its history.
Ethiopia has a good location in the Horn of Africa and is a gateway to a number of neighbouring countries such as Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya and Djibouti.
Ethiopia has managed to achieve high growth rates in recent years thanks to its facilities for investors, including income tax exemption for more than ten years, as well as export tax exemption, in addition to the presence of advanced infrastructure such as roads, transport, shipping, communications and other means that make Ethiopia a promising investment destination for foreign investors.
Ethiopia has a lot of potential and has started in recent years to diversify its economic fabric, which provides new opportunities for investment in various fields.
Ethiopia holds 15% of the total livestock in Africa, placing it in the first place in the continent in this field and in ninth place worldwide.
The Ethiopian economy is among the fastest growing economies in the world and is the fastest growing economy in the African continent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ethiopian principal crops include coffee, oilseeds, cereals, cotton, and sugarcane, while the food, beverage, textile, leather, chemicals, metals and cement sectors are the main industrial products.
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