Entrevista concedida em inglês para a jornalista profissional Fabiana Ceyhan com registro profissional no Distrito Federal.
Please talk to our reader about the relations between Brazil and Ethiopia
I am glad that you started with this question. This year Ethiopia and Brazil are celebrating 70 years of friendship. Ethiopia and Brazil have a long standing diplomatic relations that dates back to the 1950s. Throughout the years, there were several official visits made between the two countries. The strong bilateral relations of the two countries have also been reflected in multilateral forums. Aiming at further strengthening the bilateral relations of the two countries, Ethiopia has assigned honorary consuls in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, and Bahia.
The two countries have signed more than ten agreements in the areas of Agriculture, Education, Investment, Air Service, Science, Technology and Innovation and the establishment of a political consultation mechanism among others.
The technical cooperation agreement have been a stepping stone for developing several projects with Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and EMBRAPA such as increasing productivity of Cotton, Acidic Soil and Forestry Management.
Generally speaking, I can say that the agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investment between Ethiopia and Brazil is serving as a framework to foster and enhance the flow of investment and trade between the two countries. Both sides have been working hard to realize business to business relations. Thanks to Ethiopian Airlines, doing business has become quite easier as it has direct flights from and to Addis Ababa-Sao Paulo five times a week. Even during this difficult time, Ethiopian Airlines has played an important role in the repatriation of Brazilian nationals.
What are your plans for the year 2021 in mutual cooperation?
The Government of Ethiopia has been working with the Government of Brazil to enhance relations in the areas of Agriculture, Education, Air Service, Investment as well as Science, technology and innovation. In this sense, a lot of technical cooperation agreements have been signed and are being implemented between the two.
Particularly this year, the Embassy intends to focus on the technical cooperation project on enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of the cotton sector of Ethiopia, a new project developed along with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and other stakeholders. We will also be focusing on the implementation of the Education agreement through the exchange program of students.
Taking into consideration the agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investment by both sides, we are focusing on enhancing the trade and investment flow between the two countries. In Practical terms, the Embassy has been organizing and taking part in virtual investment forums and trade fairs aiming at promoting the business opportunities and incentives that Ethiopia offers particularly in the areas of textile and apparel, leather & leather products, agro processing and pharmaceuticals. The Embassy is engaging the business community in investment and trade missions to Ethiopia as well as familiarization trips.
Explain about tourism and Ethiopian culture interesting aspects
Ethiopia is a country rich in its historical and cultural heritages as well as attractive topography and natural resources. Ethiopia’s excellent network of national parks, nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other tourist attractions can be explored along several well-established routes. The historical sites range from the atmospheric rock-hewn churches of Lalibela to the towering stelae of Aksum, the walled city of Harar Jugol-the fourth-holiest city in Islamic world, and castles in Gondar. Other highlights are the awe-inspiring Erta Ale Volcano, the cultural mosaic of Konso and South Omo, and bird-rich lakes strung along the Rift Valley. The great diversity of topography resulted in an incredible bird list of over 900 species including Africa’s 2nd highest count of endemics.
Recently, the country’s new tourism brand-‘Land of Origins’ was launched. Ethiopia is the origin of the Blue Nile and home of the 3.2-million-year-old hominid fossil ‘Lucy’, whose discovery has put Ethiopia on the map as the cradle of man-kind.
Interestingly, Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic and multifaceted destination where the art of hospitality is alive. Ethiopia is the birthplace of the wild coffee plant, ‘Arabica’, which was discovered in the region Kaffa. In Ethiopia, the coffee ceremony is considered as an important social event.
Please use this space to explain to Brazilians important aspects of the country.
In the previous times, the geographical distance between the two countries has been a major impediment for doing business. But now, thanks to Ethiopian Airlines, doing business has become quite easier. The Embassy has been doing the ground work for the business community to be well aware of Ethiopia’s remarkable competitive advantage in the manufacturing sector. The government has facilitated efficiency enhancing investment solutions like that of industrial parks, cheapest energy rate on global standard, geographic proximity and preferential access to key markets and abundance of high-quality industrial raw materials.
As I have mentioned earlier, the historical and cultural sites are quite attractive and I encourage Brazilian tourists to go and visit the Land of Origins.
I would also like to invite fellow Brazilians, investors, tour operators and the business community to actively engage with the Ethiopian side, of course, with the support of the Embassy, Ethiopian Airlines as well as our Honorary Consuls.