Private sector applauds Special Status Agreement with Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, November 26 (WIC) - Kenya's business community has expressed their appreciation and welcomed the signing of the Special Status Agreement by, Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya.

“We wish to congratulate the late Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for his historical State visit in March this year which gives new impetus to our historical relationship and which led to the initiation of the Special Status Agreement,” the business community said.

The private sector congratulated and welcomed PM Hailemariam for choosing Kenya as the first country to undertake State visit since taking over the mantle from the late PM Meles.

“We shall always remember the late PM Meles and PM Hailemariam as heroes and beacons of our African Democracy and commercial and committed leaders with a big picture to deepening commercial relationships between the two countries,” they said.

“We applaud the Ethiopian leader for taking up the task to fulfill the late PM Meles Zenawi's desire.”
Business executives, see the signing of Special Status Agreement by the two leaders as a very bold move towards greater and deeper regional integration for the benefit of the people.

The volume of trade between the two countries has been growing with Kenya's exports valued at Sh.4.8 billion in 2011 and imports from Ethiopia valued at Sh369 million in 2011.
“There is very huge potential for investments and trade between the countries and therefore, it is our expectation that the Special Status Agreement will provide new trade and investment opportunities for benefit of the people of our countries,” they said.

The business community appreciated the signing of Special Status Agreement which has agreed on axle loads and transit procedures which will allow vehicles from both sides to move freely without restrictions.

The one stop border post at Moyale will definitely facilitate the movement of cargo between the two countries.
The steady growth of Ethiopia's Gross Domestic Product which has been growing at 11 percent in the last nine years is a good indicator of a sound and well managed economy which political leadership has shown commitment over a number of years bringing Ethiopia to higher levels of competitiveness and enabling it to take advantage of the comparative advantage in many sectors such as energy and agriculture. (