Ethio-German relation strengthened by people-to-people ties: Amb. Schmidt

Addis Ababa, 21 February 2015 (WIC) -The Ethio-Germany relationship is being consolidated by people-to-people ties beyond the diplomatic relations, according to Germany’s Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Ambassador Joachim Schmidt told ENA that the political, diplomatic, economic and social cooperation of the two countries has reached high level.

Schmidt indicated that the relation is strengthened by people-to-people ties and is being built on solid foundation.

The relationship of the peoples of the two countries is deep and multifaceted when compared to other countries, he added.

He said high-level official visits of the two governments, the relationship of sister cities and development cooperations have played a significant role in bringing the peoples of the two nations closer.

Germany is the fifth largest destination for Ethiopian export, the ambassador said, adding that the annual trade volume of the two countries has jumped over 200 million Euros.

Schmidt further indicated that of the stated amount 84 million is Ethiopia’s share and the remaining balance that of Germany.

Ethiopia exports agricultural products, including coffee and textiles to German markets, while it imports pharmaceuticals, medicines and machinery, among others, it was learned.

Some 35 German companies are reportedly engaged in Ethiopia’s floricultural, logistics, transport and pharmaceutical sectors.

Ambassador Schmidt explained that the over 50-years Ethio-German development cooperation focuses on the provision of primary education, technical and vocational training, agriculture and biodiversity.

Starting from 2009, Germany has closely supported Ethiopia’s green economy policy and supported the revival of 180,000 hectares of land that benefits over 194,000 farmers, he said.

It was stated that the countries have strong cooperation in preventing drought, fighting climate change and terrorism.

Ambassador Schmidt said Germany has a great admiration for the role Ethiopia has been playing in ensuring peace and stability in Somalia and South Sudan, and particularly in Darfur and Abiye.

He also appreciated Ethiopia’s efforts in hosting and protecting displaced citizens of neighboring countries.

According to ENA, Ethiopia and Germany began diplomatic relations in 1905.