Visitors talk at Alibaba's stand of 2015 CeBIT Technology Trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on March 16, 2015. Top IT business fair CeBIT 2015, which features a strong Chinese presence this year, opened on Sunday in Hanover. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)
Visitors talk at Alibaba's stand of 2015 CeBIT Technology Trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on March 16, 2015. Top IT business fair CeBIT 2015, which features a strong Chinese presence this year, opened on Sunday in Hanover. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

China Trade Week, a Chinese business-to-business (B2B) trade show, which entered its second day on Friday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, has attracted about 50 exhibiting companies from China.

The 3-day event has drawn Chinese companies engaging in construction materials and machinery; electronics; food and beverage; furniture; packaging and plastics; print; daily necessities and animal healthcare among others.

Organized by MIE Events DMCC in partnership with a local firm called Prana Events, the trade show mainly focuses on business-to-business matching for potential partners to discuss future trade relations.

The event is said to be a platform that brings members of the Ethiopian business community and Chinese companies together to discuss and develop the foundations of trading and business relationships.

“We are delighted to provide a trade environment that is conducive to creating stronger ties between Chinese companies and Ethiopian businesses looking to source products and services from China,” said Managing Director of MIE Events DMCC David Wang.

In her opening remarks on Thursday, Liu Yu, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said the cooperation between Ethiopia and China go beyond investment and trade, and that China has been providing support to Ethiopia in areas including soft loans, technical assistance, and human resource development.

She said China, which is the second largest importer and consumer in the world, is expecting an import worth more than 10 trillion in the next five years, which she said is a “historic opportunity” for Ethiopian businesses and the rest of the world.

The counselor has also called on government officials, members of business community, exhibitors, and professionals to attend the upcoming China Import Expo in November to explore the Chinese market and share common prosperity with China.

“In the next five years, China is expecting to import over 10 trillion U.S. dollars of goods and services, which will provide a historic opportunity for enterprises across the world to enter the huge Chinese market,” she said.

The Sino-Ethiopia trade volume reached 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

Speaking on the occasion, Tesfakiros Hailu, Director for Trade Diplomacy at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated that China is an important partner globally.

According to Tesfakiros, hundreds of projects in Ethiopia including industrial parks, railways, electric power, express roads, and airport terminal expansion have been contracted by Chinese companies, creating tens of thousands of permanent and temporary jobs for the local people.

The director said Ethiopia’s export to China is increasing from time to time despite a huge gap still in the trade balance, which he said could be address through joint efforts of the two countries.

The trade week features seminars that help provide visitors background information about China and how to effectively trade with China.

China Trade Week event has been taking place in different countries since the first event took place in the UAE, in 2013, followed by the launch of China Trade Week Kenya in 2015 and Iran in 2016.

In 2017, China Trade Week was added in Morocco, Ethiopia, South Africa and Ghana, and this year, China Trade Week will add Oman in its portfolio and Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 2019, according to the organizers. Enditem

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