ISLAMABAD    -   Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood Thursday announced that ministry of commerce is opening a Commercial Section in Pakistan’s Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian this year, to develop linkages between the businesses of the two countries.

He elaborated the Look Africa Policy Initiative of the Ministry of Commerce, which calls for enhancing engagement and trade/investment relations with Africa, a press release issued by Ministry of Commerce here said.

A high-power delegation from Ethiopia, led by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Markos Tekle and State Minister for Trade and Industry, Misiganu Arega, and comprising of senior officials and businessmen, visited Ministry of Commerce for a meeting with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood. The adviser appreciated the warm, historic and brotherly relations between the two countries and expressed the desire to make the trade relations commensurate with the political relations.

Ethiopian ministers referred to the meeting held between the prime ministers of Pakistan and Ethiopia on the margins of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in April 2019 in China and reiterated the desire to upgrade political, trade, commercial and people-to-people contacts.

Adviser on Commerce warmly reciprocated the sentiments of Ethiopian side and emphasised on boosting the existing trade ties. Areas of mutual cooperation were highlighted by both sides. The adviser on commerce emphasised the export potential of Pakistan in sectors like engineering goods, sugar, rice, agro-processed products, surgical, pharmaceutical and sports goods.

He explained that Pakistan desires to make Ethiopia, being a member of COMESA, Head quarter of African Union and African Continental FTA, a hub for enhancing exports to Africa under Look Africa Policy, which was appreciated by the Ethiopian side.

The Ethiopian minister of trade expressed interest in exporting pulses, black tea, high quality sesame seed and oil seeds to Pakistan.

He also informed that they are working for the commencement of Ethiopian air flights to/from Karachi and expressed interest in hiring of technical experts from Pakistan in the field of Engineering, pharmaceutical and IT sectors. The Ethiopian foreign minister welcomed the initiative and assured support for the newly opened office. He also announced that they are going to open their embassy in Islamabad soon. Both sides emphasised that in order to translate excellent brotherly relations into meaningful economic and trade cooperation, frequent engagements at G2G and B2B level coupled with trade promotional activities will be ensured. Both sides also agreed on removing impediments in the area of technical/ SPS regulations, visa facilitation and finalisation of MoU on Trade Relations and Treaty for avoidance of double taxation.