Ethiopian delegation to participate at Canada-Africa Business Summit

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Addis Ababa, 1 September 2014 (WIC) - An Ethiopian delegation led by Tedros Adhanom (PhD), minister of Foreign Affairs, will partake at the first annual Canada-Africa Business Summit to be held next month in Toronto, Canada.

The Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica), in collaboration with the Government of Canada and the World Bank Group, will organize the inaugural Canada-Africa Business Summit from September 15-18, 2014, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

A large Ethiopian business delegation comprising of manufactures and exporters will participate at the forum. Senior Ethiopian government officials drawn from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade, and Investment Commission, among others, will attend the conference. Officials of the Ethiopia and Addis Ababa Chambers of Commerce and Sectoral Associations will also be in attendance.

According to the organizers, delegations from 20 African countries will participate at the forum. Heads of governments, ministers, governors, and CEOs from Africa and Canada are expected to deliberate on doing business in Africa. Renowned Canadian corporate businesses will be represented by their CEOs.

Ethiopian Airlines is a gold sponsor of the 4-day conference. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam is a key note speaker. Ethiopian is the only airline that has a direct flight between Africa and Canada.

Canadian oil and mining firms are active in Ethiopia. Africa Oil, a Vancouver based oil firm, is engaged in four oil exploration projects in Ethiopia. Allana Potash, a Canadian mining firm, is developing one of the largest potash mining in the world in the Afar Regional State. According to the Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia, 13 Canadian companies have signed contracts for the exploration of potash and precious and base metals, with a registered capital of USD 6.5 million. In January 2010, Canada concluded an Air Services Agreement with Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines flights from Addis Ababa to Toronto began in July 2012. According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Canada and Ethiopia in 2003, Ethiopian exports of textile and apparel goods have tariff-free access to the Canadian market.

Ethiopian Airlines is a reliable customer of Bombardier, a Canadian aircraft manufacturer. Bombardier is one of the sponsors of the Canada-Africa business summit.

Trade flows between Canada and Ethiopia are modest but with the potential for growth in the short- to medium-term and are subject to significant year-to-year changes due to the one-time order of high-value products like aircraft. In 2013, the two-way trade came to USD 39.2 million, with USD 21.3 million in Canadian exports to Ethiopia and USD 17.8 million of imports from Ethiopia into Canada. The year before, 2012, had seen a large boost in Canadian exports to Ethiopia, which stood at USD 123.6 million that year, due to the delivery of a number of Q400 aircraft from Bombardier to the Ethiopian Airlines. Bombardier has also set up a regional maintenance facility for the Q400 aircraft in Addis Ababa. Canada's imports from Ethiopia consist mainly of agri-food products, such as coffee, team spices and oilseeds. (The Reporter)