India and Ethiopia have long-standing economic and commercial relations, which are centuries old and can be traced back over 2000 years of recorded history. During the Axumite Kingdom, Indian traders had links with the ancient port of Adulis in the eastern part of Ethiopia and traded silk and spices for gold and ivory.
India’s total trade with Ethiopia stood at US$1.271 billion in 2017-18, out of which India’s exports to Ethiopia were US$1.224 billion and imports were US$47.45 million, according to the National Bank of Ethiopia annual report. India is the third most important source of imports for Ethiopia, contributing 10.1% of all of Ethiopia’s imports next to China and Kuwait. India contributed 1.6% of Ethiopia’s export to the world. Among India’s top exports to Ethiopia exports from India consisted mainly of primary and semi-finished iron and steel products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, manufactures of metal, etc. Major imports by India from Ethiopia were: semi-precious stones, pulses, leather, oil seeds and vegetables & seeds.
There is no Ethiopian Investment in India. Indian companies maintained their reputation as being in the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia with newer Indian multinationals marking their presence in Ethiopia. There are more than 584 Indian companies in Ethiopia with licensed investment of over US$ 4 billion of which about US$ 2 billion is estimated to be on the ground. Indian companies have invested in various sectors like agriculture and floriculture, engineering, plastics, manufacturing, cotton and textiles, water management, consultancy and ICT, education, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
Indian companies in Ethiopia:
Some of the major Indian companies in Ethiopia are Cadila Pharmaceuticals PLC, S & P Energy Solution PLC, Tata International Limited, Karuturi Global PLC, Kanoria Africa Textiles PLC, Mohan Group of companies, Anmol Products Ethiopia PLC, Arvind Envisol Limited, Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), EXIM Bank of India, SCM Garment, Raj Agro Industries, Jay Jay Textile, Roto PLC, Whitefield Cotton Farm PLC, Ruchi Agri PLC, Verdanta Harvests PLC, Neha International PLC, Asian Paintings, Arvind Mills, Allanasons Ltd., Kanoria, SVP Group, Fontana Flower PLC, Balaji Manufacturing PLC, Samaka Stones Pvt. Ltd. Co., Velocity Apparel etc.
Marketing/Investment opportunities in Ethiopia:
The areas with most promising potential for investments in the country are agriculture, food-processing, leather & leather products, textile & garments, horticulture, sugar & related industry, chemicals industry, pharmaceutical industry, cement industry, metal & engineering industry, tourism, construction, mining & oil and hydropower. Leading non-agricultural sectors and investment include: renewable energy, information technology and communications (ICT), road construction, tourism and aviation.
A Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was signed at New Delhi in 1997. Bilateral Trade Agreement was signed in October 2017. A Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) was signed in 2007 but not enforced yet. India and Ethiopia signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) in 2011. The DTAA has been made effective in India w.e.f. 1.4.2013. During the India-Africa Forum Summit of April 2008, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had announced the Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme (DFTP) for Least Developed Countries (LDCs.
Trade promotion activities:
The Embassy promotes trade, investment and technology transfer processes in Ethiopia. SMEs have been a special focus and the Embassy is committed to support SME companies in creating partnerships in Ethiopia. A large number of SME industry members have been participating at the trade fairs and exhibitions, Buyer-Seller Meets and product promotion programmes in India. These efforts strengthen the dialogue of the Ethiopian delegations with the SMEs in India. The Embassy also promotes and facilitates visits by trade delegations by arranging meetings and organizing Exhibitions, Buyer-Seller Meets, etc. CRISP (Bhopal) – Centre for Research and Industrial Staff Performance proposes to organize Buyer-Seller Meet of handicraft and handloom items in Ethiopia to promote Indian handicraft products in Ethiopia in September-October 2018. CRISP has its branch in Addis Ababa which has trained more 600 workers.
Lines of Credit and Grant Assistance Projects:
The ongoing Government of India assistance in developmental projects in Ethiopia continued with sanctioned Lines of Credit worth more than US$1 billion to the Government of Ethiopia for construction of sugar factories and power transmission lines. Ethiopia is one of the largest recipient of long term concessional credit from India in Africa. Finchaa and Wonji Shoa sugar factories and Phase I of the Tendaho sugar factory being built in Ethiopia under the Indian EXIM Bank’s Lines of Credit of US$ 640 million are almost complete. India has also donated to Ethiopia a 64-Slice CT Scan Machine to Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa as part of our Grant Assistance.
India Business Forum:
Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa supports the IBF (India Business Forum) which focuses on promoting bilateral trade and investment between India and Ethiopia. The India Business Forum (IBF) was launched on October 30, 2005, and has organized meetings with the Presidents of the Regional states, General Managers of Banks, DG, Ethiopian Customs Revenues Authority, Ethiopian Employers Federation, Ministers of Trade, Industry, Labour & Social Affairs. IBF is the first foreign Forum of its kind in Ethiopia.
Visits from India:
Momentum has been maintained in trade and economic engagements with participation of Indian business delegations in Trade Fairs, BSMs, etc. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, visited Addis Ababa from 4-6 September 2018.