Dubai – MENA Herald: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry-led trade mission to Ethiopia concluded with the signing of an AED 184 million agreement between S.S. Lootah International and Oromia International Bank SC of Ethiopia to collaborate in supporting the coffee and other agricultural and livestock sectors with the financing and supply of needed inputs to boost their production and exports.

The MoU covers financing requirements for the inputs and exports of production and value addition inputs products, export financing, warehousing and logistics for the agricultural sector including coffee and livestock production. The initial value of the agreement will be increased in its next stage with the rise in demand for the products.

H.E. Yahya Bin Saeed Lootah, CEO, S.S. Lootah International, said that the agreement with the Ethiopian partner, which follows the signing of another agreement a few days ago with a Kenyan company reflects the commitment of S.S. Lootah International to expand in the continent which is full of lucrative opportunities, and of course due to the support of Dubai Chamber in finding partners in Africa.

He also stressed on the importance of the trade mission in creating a favourable ground for developing mutual relations with the East Africa region, adding that the Dubai Chamber trade mission has succeeded in creating an appropriate condition for the signing of the two agreements for S.S. Lootah International while creating investment opportunities in promising markets of Africa for Dubai businesses.

H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, stated that the signing of the agreement points at the rise in bilateral relations between the business communities of the two countries, pointing out at the importance of a dialogue in stimulating foreign investments into Ethiopia, which he said is a powerhouse in East Africa and a leading gateway to the markets of the continent.

Also, Dubai Chamber concluded its mission by holding meetings with representatives of public and private sectors as well as attending their third meeting with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

During their Public Sector Roundtable and Private Sector Focus Group meetings with leading business leaders, the Dubai Chamber delegation discussed ways of overcoming obstacles faced by UAE investors including the regulations attracting foreign investments to the country.

Dubai Chamber called upon its counterparts and Ethiopian businesses to work jointly with the Chamber to achieve the common goals of stimulating economic partnerships between the business communities of Dubai and Ethiopia.

Addressing a Public Sector Roundtable in the presence of H.E. Tadesse Haile, Ethiopian Minister of State for Industry, H.E. Al Ghurair pointed out that the presence of the Dubai Chamber delegation in Addis Ababa reaffirms their desire to enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries as the main objective of this trade mission is to gather accurate information about the methods and procedures of doing business in Ethiopia and to understand the rules and regulations prevalent in prominent economic and investment sectors of the country.

“The objective of the trade mission also is to identify the challenges and obstacles faced by the business community while seeking their solutions as well as to find opportunities for UAE investors in the lucrative sectors of the Ethiopian market,” he said.

On his part, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, said: “Africa is a market of strategic importance to Dubai, and Ethiopia being an ideal platform to reach out to the markets of East Africa for the emirate’s businesses looking forward to invest in the continent, Dubai Chamber launched its first international office in Addis Ababa in 2013.

He added, “Dubai and Ethiopia enjoy a strong trade relationship that has flourished over the years. The country is Dubai’s 60th trading partner and its non-oil trade with the emirate has grown steadily over the last few years to reach AED 2.2 billion in 2015, while currently there are 200 Ethiopian companies registered as members of Dubai Chamber operating in the emirate,” said H.E. Buamim.

He lauded the support of the UAE Embassy in Ethiopia to the Chamber, and the keenness of H.E. Ambassador Ghazi Abdullah Mahri, and the staff of the embassy in facilitating UAE investors and the trade mission to achieve their goals.

“For its part, Dubai Chamber has remained committed to providing the necessary channels, opportunities and initiatives for our members who are keen to access new markets within the continent. Ethiopia is currently experiencing strong economic growth being driven by the agriculture and services sectors and we see a lot of potential to expand our ties in these areas, and collaborate in other sectors of mutual interest, including telecom, construction, hospitality and tourism,” said H.E. Buamim.

The trade mission promoted the Africa Global Business Forum by calling on public and private sector representatives to participate in the fourth session of the forum being organised by Dubai Chamber next year in Dubai

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and ranked among the five fastest growing economies in the world in 2014. Ethiopia is home to a large growing consumer market and is geographically positioned to provide good access to the world’s most lucrative markets of sub-Saharan African, European, Middle Eastern and Asian markets.

Led by H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, the delegation included H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, Ali Al Fardan, Managing Director, Al Fardan Group of Companies, H.E. Kariuke Mugwe, Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Kenya, Adel Al Zarouni, Managing Director, Rivoli Group LLC, Eisa Bin Nasser Al Serkal, Chairman, Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal Establishment, Mohammed Saeed Al Raqbani, General Manager, Dubai Investments Industries, H.E. Yahya Bin Saeed Lootah, CEO, SS Lootah Group, Lamin Sanneh, Head, Structured Finance, SS Lootah Group, and Mrs. Wifag Mabrouk, Deputy Manager, Lootah Technologies and General Trading.