By Neo Brown
Trade and Investment between Ethiopia and Finland is registering a slight increase as compared to previous years. The Government of Finland through its embassy here in Addis Ababa is working to further boost cooperation with Ethiopia in business and investment. Finnish businessmen are showing a growing interest to invest in many African countries particularly in Ethiopia since there are ample investment opportunities. Speaking to Afro FM exclusively, Finland’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Helena Airaksinen said promoting Ethiopia’s potential is vital if the business and investment relation of the two countries is to flourish.
“One of my objectives here during my coming years is to increase trade and investment between our countries. There is slight increase. You can see that there’s something happening but still trade and investment levels are low. And Finland is of course is a small country but it’s a country where export is very important. Export is the most crucial part of our economy; we are dependent on exports. And our main partners have been of course in the western world in Europe but now increasingly in Asia. And I see that my role and maybe also my Ethiopian colleagues’ role, is to disseminate information about the potential of the country.”
Ambassador Airaksinen also mentioned a planned visit by a Finnish trade and investment delegation to Ethiopia as part of efforts to promote Ethiopia’s potential in the sector.
“We are doing a lot of work to encourage the companies to come and see the potential. They have to come here. It’s not enough that they read on the documents and on the internet about the potential, they have to come here and make connections to the Ethiopian Businesses. They need to know more about the reality at the field. And we are actually having a trade delegation with the minister of trade and development coming here in the spring, in a few months time.”
The trade linkage shows that Finland imports coffee, spices and leather from Ethiopia. Finland exports various machineries to Ethiopia. The country has also been investing in water supply, rural development and expansion of primary education in Ethiopia.