The Ethiopian government on Monday encouraged more Chinese investments and vowed to provide all the necessary support to potential Chinese companies to effectively operate in the country.

The statement was made by Dewano Kedir, permanent secretary for business and economic affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during his discussion with an 11-member business delegation from China’s Chengdu province, the ministry said on Monday.

The Chinese business delegation, which consisted of representatives from various areas that include pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, manufacturing, agro-processing, textile, mining and commodity traders, explored investment and business opportunities that are available in Ethiopia, according to a statement by the ministry.

The permanent secretary, during his meeting with the Chinese business delegation, affirmed the “all-weather cooperation that exists between Ethiopia and China.”

Kedir also “urged Chinese companies to seize the opportunities available in Ethiopia,” assuring the Chinese delegation “the Ethiopian government’s commitment to welcome more investors from China, and will continue to provide every support in that regard,” the statement read.

According to figures from the Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC), the east African country had licensed more than 1,290 Chinese investment projects during the Ethiopian fiscal year 2017/18 that ended July 7.

The Chinese investment projects now make up about 24.8 percent of the total investment licenses the Ethiopian government awarded during the reported period, Mekonen Hailu, communications director at EIC, told Xinhua recently.

China is Ethiopia’s biggest trading partner, with Ethiopia exporting some 144.5 million U.S. dollars worth of goods to China in the first six months of the Ethiopian 2017/18 fiscal year, according to figures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade.

Also on Monday, the ministry said it has recently conducted a successful business and investment promotion symposium in China’s Zhejiang province.

The Zhejiang-Ethiopia Business and Investment Symposium, which was held in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

“The promotion event aimed at unleashing mutually beneficial and complementary respective textile and garments capacities that exist in Ethiopia and Zhejiang Province,” the ministry said. Enditem

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