The official business seminar included four sector seminars on agriculture, energy, humanitarian market and trade and investment and one plenary session attended by the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess of Norway, the President of Ethiopia, and other Ministers and high-level dignitaries from both countries.
The Business Seminar attracted many participants from Norway and Ethiopia Photo: RNE/MFA
In her opening remark, Crown Princess Mette Marit said that the seminar illustrates how the bilateral relations of Norway and Ethiopia have expanded to new areas - trade and investment. “The participating Norwegian business delegation reflects the growing Norwegian interest in private sector development in Ethiopia,” said the Crown Princess in her speech.
She also underlined how the private sector is an important part of the solution for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, generating nine out of ten jobs. “The private sector is already delivering the technology, the capital and solutions needed to develop sustainable societies ahead of the 2030 deadline,” she stated.
The President of Ethiopia H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome also stated that the business seminar will facilitate growth and interactions between the business communities of the two countries for mutual benefit. “It is important since it will strengthen the historical ties between the two countries,” he stated.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia Andreas Gaarder addressed the business delegation during the pre-seminar reception on Monday the 6th of November. “It is really impressive to see so many representatives of Norwegian businesses and industry turning up here in Ethiopia as part of the Royal visit,” he said. “There are a number of possibilities in Ethiopia - but you will also have to do your homework in the sense of securing good financial backbone, allying with good local partners, and planning to be here for the long haul”. He concluded his speech by saying “come, but come prepared.”
Yara signing a mining greement with Ethiopia Photo: RNE/MFA
During this Royal visit, a number of agreements were signed including Yara International’s mining agreement worth USD 731 million with the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas making it the highlight of the business delegation’s visit to Ethiopia. The other signings took place during the agriculture seminar, two focusing on agribusiness with the Agriculture Transformation Agency and IFC’s Multi-Donors Initative Trust Fund (MDI TF), one with Development Fund of Norway on vocational training in connection to Yara’s mining project, and another one with the Nordic Medical Center for the expansion of the medical facility.
11 agriculture companies visiting Joy Tech Farm Photo: Innovasjon Norge
The official business seminar also contained field visits for interested companies on the 8th of November. 15 people from 11 agriculture companies visited the Ethiopian Cargo Terminal in Addis Ababa airport and the Joy Tech Farm in Bishoftu. 15 people from 11 energy companies visited the Repi Waste-to-Energy Facility in Addis Ababa and the Solar Kiosk in Borobor Butajira.
11 energy companies visited Reppi Waste-to-Energy facility Photo: Innovasjon Norge
The Norwegian African Business Association (NABA) also organized side programme for their 25 member companies that were part of the business delegation during the visit. This included a meeting with Ethiopian and Norwegian business owners already established in Ethiopia on the topic of how to succeed in Ethiopia, a high-level roundtable with the Deputy Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Mr. Abebe Abebayehu Chekol, a visit to a textile factory, and a meeting with Energy Minister H.E. Dr. Seleshi Bekele.
NABA meeting with member companies established in Ethiopia Photo: RNE/MFA