Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, met with a delegation of Qatari businessman visiting Addis Ababa and led by Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, chairman of Ezdan Holding Group, to discuss avenues for partnership between their two countries.
The minister opened the discussions by noting Ethiopia’s macro-economic stability and socio-economic development, citing the country’s 10.9% average real GDP growth achieved by the country over the last ten years as a key indicator if its economic performance.
He continued that the country’s success was the result of a tremendous public investment in infrastructure, agriculture and services, and that the priority areas of investment were now manufacturing, the development of industrial zones, renewable energy and health.
Dr. Al Thani, for his part, responded by noting that Ethiopia’s present economic takeoff and future economic and political trajectory was certainly encouraging indicators, and that his company was ready to invest in the areas of health, real-estate development and hotels.
Al Thani also suggested that building long-lasting strategic relationships between the private sectors of the two countries would benefit the efforts, open new markets and create a platform to promote new joint ventures locally and internationally and attract investors.
The foreign minister also recommended the potential value to Ezdan and other Qatari firms in participating in Ethiopia’s efforts to make itself a nucleus of medical tourism in Africa.
He further highlighted that Ethiopia had signed agreements on investment protection and avoidance of double taxation with Qatar, and hoped these agreements would provide additional impetus to the Ezdan Group’s engagement in selected areas of investment.
Finally, he noted that he had observed a clear interest from the Ethiopian side in Qatari investment and emphasised that attracting investment could play an influential role in “turning the wheel of development” in Ethiopia and creating new job opportunities.
In addition to Dr. Al Thani, the Qatari delegation included Ali Mohammad al-Obaidly, CEO of Ezdan Holding Group; Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Sheibi, CEO of International Islamic; Ali Ibrahim Abdulghani, CEO of Qatari Islamic Insurance Co; Kyle White Hill, CEO of Vodafone Qatar; and, Ali Abdulrahman al-Hashemi, a member of Mackeen Holding Co.