About 70 Chinese enterprises have so far received licenses to invest in Ethiopia thanks to the country's efforts to attract Chinese investments, Ethiopia's Investment Commission said Monday.
The commission said in a press release that 18 of the enterprises, engaged in pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, iron, restaurant and other manufacturing sectors, had already entered into production phase.
Some 17 licensed enterprises involved in service provision, electricity, textile, mines and other relevant sectors, were in the construction phase, it said.
According to the commission, the remaining entrepreneurs were undertaking research that would enable them to engage in various investment sectors.
The Chinese government was providing various incentives to Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in African countries, it said.
An agreement had been signed between Ethiopia and China in 1998 to foster investment relations between the two countries.
The commission said Ethiopia would benefit a lot from Chinese investment when Ethiopian entrepreneurs work in partnership with their Chinese counterparts.
Such partnership would be highly important as Chinese technology is suitable to Ethiopia and generates employment for thousands of people, it said.
The commission said it was carrying out various promotion and recruitment activities to attract Chinese entrepreneurs.
Last year Ethiopia secured some US$5 million from hides and skin, tantalum, natural gum and coffee exported to China. And imports from China had shown a marked growth amounting to US$257 million.
Export items, particularly leather and leather products, coffee, sesame, natural gum, marble, and textiles, were believed to widen Ethiopia's market in China by taking advantage of tax-free opportunity China provided to 25 African countries including Ethiopia.
Various measures were being taken to bolster their relations in the tourism sector as well, the commission said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 3, 2005)