President Michael D Higgins of Ireland, on a visit to Ethiopia this week, witnessed the signing of three bilateral treaties agreements between Ireland and Ethiopia on Monday (November 3). The agreements were signed following a meeting between President Higgins and Prime Minister Hailemariam. One agreement is on avoidance of double taxation and is expected to encourage the growth of trade and investment between Ireland and Ethiopia. A bilateral transport agreement will clear the way for direct flights by Ethiopian airlines from June 2015 between Dublin and Addis Ababa.
This will provide the first-ever direct scheduled route between Ireland and Africa. The third agreement is a bilateral co-operation agreement providing a framework for a five-year development partnership, estimated to be worth €136m. The focus is on health, nutrition, agriculture and governance. Speaking after the signings, President Higgins said they would act as a catalyst in moving relations and development forward to a whole new set of achievements in different areas, adding that the agreements would now provide a framework for closer contact between Ireland and Ethiopia.