Maaza International, the UAE company behind a popular mango beverage brand, has partnered with Petram, one of Ethiopia’s largest and most successful companies, to open a bottling plant with an installed capacity of 3.5 million cases a year.
“It’s a bottling and distribution arrangement we have with Petram and similar to arrangements we have for Saudi Arabia or Kuwait,” said commercial director Samer Salah, noting that it was Maaza first bottling partnership in Africa since a previous arrangement in Sudan 11 years ago.
“They had been importing our products earlier and there was merit in upgrading the relationship to a franchise. Apart from within Ethiopia itself, the bottler can distribute to some outside territories as well.
“This is the second Maaza bottling arrangement we have in Africa after we introduced it in Sudan 11 years ago. Ideally, we would like to go further into Africa, markets like Tanzania or Kenya. These are markets ripe for higher growth rates.”
The deal shortly follows UAE pharmaceutical giant Julphar’s plans to build a $49.5m insulin factory in Ethiopia through its local subsidiary Julphar Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Industry.
In another recent Gulf-Ethiopia deal, Bahrain’s Ibdar Bank concluding a $100m deal with Ethiopian Airlines for the bank’s acquisition of four aircraft back for lease back to the airline.
Ethiopia also inaugurated its long-anticipated embassy in the Al Bateen area of Abu Dhabi, in a diplomatic reflection of the ever growing economic connection between the two countries.