Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Uganda, Etsegenet Bezabih Yimenu has hailed the ‘ever-growing’ bilateral ties between the two countries.
Yimenu says the trade relations between Uganda and Ethiopia are improving but points out that there is still a “job to be done” for the two countries to reach their trade volume potential.
The ambassador made the remarks on Tuesday while briefing the Public Diplomacy Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of on her tour of duty at her residence.
Yimenu highlighted that whereas Uganda and Ethiopia have geographical location and economic zone to their advantage, the two countries have not done enough to promote trade between them,
something she says her Mission is keenly interested in addressing.
“We haven’t done much to promote trade between our two countries. In the next years, we need to first of all promote business between us. It can be through connecting institutions,” Yimenu said.
She also explained that her mission plans to organise business promotion events in Kampala where investors can showcase and interact business opportunities in the two countries.
“As you know, during Covid-19, we didn’t do much and everything was limited to the virtual. So, this time around, we do have the opportunity to work more on that. For myself and my team, we have already discussed and we don’t want to limit ourselves here in Kampala. We will go out to different districts, regions and as much as possible to reach out the majority so that we can bring the trade relations to a better stage,” the ambassador said.
Available data shows that in 2021, Uganda exported $2.44 million to Ethiopia. The main products that Uganda exported to Ethiopia were concentrated milk ($1.24M), rubber tires ($351,000), and toilet paper ($212,000).
On the other hand, Ethiopia exported $1.22M to Uganda. The main products that Ethiopia exported to Uganda were eggs ($409,000), poultry ($295,000), and vegetable and mineral carvings ($271,000).
During the last 26 years the exports of Uganda to Ethiopia have increased at an annualized rate of 13.7%, from $86,100 in 1995 to $2.44M in 2021, while those from Ethiopia to Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 2.33%, from $671,000 in 1995 to $1.22M in 2021.
The ambassador noted that to grow the trade volumes significantly, the governments of Uganda and Ethiopia need to strengthen trade promotion and cooperation.
Yimenu further cited that Ethiopia has recently embarked on promoting Ethiopian products in Uganda including leather, wine, and coffee.