Ethiopian Embassy, Beijing
Tigrai Online Jan. 14, 2013
A delegation led by H.E. Mr. Tadesse Haile, Ethiopian State Minister for Industry, paid a 4 day working visit to the Republic of Singapore last week upon the invitation of H.E. Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Senior State Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore.
The Ethiopian delegation met with H.E. Mr. Lee Yi Shyan and discussed on the possibility of establishing an Ethiopia-Singapore Special Economic Zone in Dire Dawa City.
Mr. Tadesse briefed Mr. Lee on the socio-economic developments taking place in Ethiopia and explained the viability of the proposed Special Economic Zone. Mr. Tadesse formally invited Mr. Lee to lead a mixed government-business delegation to Ethiopia and further explore possibilities for cooperation. Mr. Lee expressed interest to work closely with Ethiopia in the realization of the shared vision for an Ethiopia-Singapore Special Economic Zone. Mr. Lee, hosted a lunch on in honour of the Ethiopian Delegation and organized a business meeting with among the top-ten Singaporean companies with local and international experience in planning, establishing and managing Special Economic Zones.
During the business meeting held on January 10, 2013, the Ethiopian delegation made a detailed presentation on Ethiopia’s investment opportunities. The presentation focused on 4 areas designated for the establishment of Special Economic Zones, with particular emphasis on Dire Dawa.
The participants expressed interest to further study the proposed ideas of establishing an Ethiopia-Singapore Special Economic Zone in Dire Dawa. H.E. Mr. Lee also expressed interest to lead a delegation to Ethiopia to further explore the proposal. H.E. Mr. Tadesse invited all the participants to join Ethiopia in the Establishment of a Special Economic Zone in Dire Dawa. The delegation has met with the State Minister for Finance and Transport, H.E. Ms. Josephine Teo. She mentioned that the relation between the two countries is rapidly progressing and sited the air service agreement signed last year between the two countries as an indication of strong interest on both sides to strengthen the relations. Ms. Teo noted that she is looking forward to the beginning of a direct Ethiopian Airlines flight to Singapore. She said such a link will help in enhancing business relations, which at the moment remains to be nascent. H.E. Mr. Tadesse briefed the State Minister on Dire Dawa City and the proposed Special Economic Zone and formally invited her to visit Ethiopia. Ms. Teo shared her experience on such projects with special reference to the China-Singapore, Suzhou Industrial Park and underlined on the importance of such initiatives in transforming economies and the quality of life of residents. The delegation also had extensive discussions with the Africa Business Group of Singapore. The delegation explained the welcoming business environment in Ethiopia and introduced the Singapore-Ethiopia Special Economic Zone initative.
The delegation visited Industry parks and held separate discussions with CEOs and top management of Jurong International, Surbana International and CWT Logistics.
In a similar development, H.E. Amb. Seyoum Mesfin met with H.E. Mr. Vanu Gopala Menon, non-resident Ambassador designate of the Republic of Singapore to the F.D.R. of Ethiopia and to the African Union. The discussions focused on bilateral issues as well as on the African sub region. The two Ambassadors agreed to work closely to build on the current momentum and take the relations between the two countries to the next level.