After the human fossil “Lucy” was found in Afar of Ethiopia, the country was given the name “the cradle of mankind”. Now, with the good reputation as the “Symbol of peace on the horn of Africa”, the ancient civilization is embracing a period of rapid development.
In an exclusive interview with newsgd.com, Melaku Legesse, Consul General of Ethiopia in Guangzhou, expressed his awareness that Guangdong’s unique role for the stable development of Ethiopia.
Melaku Legesse, Consul General of Ethiopia in Guangzhou
Guangdong’s manufacturers, a key for economic upgrade of Ethiopia
Stating that the two countries are enjoying relations in all sectors, Ethiopia became the first African country to set up the consulate office in Guangzhou in 2009.
“The main objective of the Consulate office here is to promote economic and trade cooperation. We meet and encourage investors to go to Ethiopia and set up their investment, to ensure they are a part of our fast-develop economy.”
For fast-growing economic, there are always some indispensable factors, such as technology transfer, foreign investments, stable environment, etc. The rule seems immutable no matter for super power, middle power or mini state.
“The stable inputs are very important. We need technology to maintain the underway constructions of infrastructure or city facilities. We know that Guangdong is a manufacturing base in China for many years so we also understand that the companies here could be a very good input for our level of development.”
In fact, since 1950s, Chinese governments began to provide aids to Africa. Among which Guangdong played a significant role. In the next 60 years, a growing number of Guangdong companies set their feet in Africa.
“From Dongguan, Foshan and Guangzhou, we have three big shoes companies in Ethiopia and they have changed our countries’ leather products. Ethiopia is well known for its leather products for a long time. But most of the leathers we used to export were semi-products, not the finished ones. But now, after these companies came in, our producing capacity has been growing. Now we are mainly exporting shoes and other leather products.”
Although the economic pattern is being reshaped in Ethiopia now, the capacity is still a problem for its export.
“More than 7,000 products imported from Ethiopia are free of tax and we also know the three FTZs of Guangdong will open soon. It would be a huge boost for our export but we still need to improve our producing capacity so it is very important to ensure the stability of outside investments.”
The agriculture products from Ethiopia, photographed in the Consulate General office of Ethiopia in Guangzhou.