Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with Chinese President, Prime Minister and heads of various companies
On April 24, 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation met with H.E. President Xi Jinping in a bilateral meeting ahead of the Belt and Road Forum. President Jinping admired the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy and the reforms he has led over the past year, noting that China holds Ethiopia’s development in high regard. He also shared the cancellation of interest free loans matured till end of 2018. Furthermore, President Xi emphasized that the Chinese government attaches high importance to the Beautifying Sheger project and is working on a grant assistance in its support. Both parties agreed to a strengthened cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shared with H.E. President Xi Jinping the commitment of Ethiopia to deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with China, which is enabling critical moves like restructuring the debt of the Addis Ababa - Djibouti railway. The railway project is an early harvest of the Belt and Road Initiative that Ethiopia is part of. In addition to a common understanding on global, regional cooperation and bilateral issues, Prime Minister Abiy also expressed his concern on the detainment of the young female engineer Nazrawit Abera.
Similarly, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation met with Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss the further strengthening of Ethio-China relations. Premier Li Keqiang confirmed that China will continue to support Ethiopia’s efforts in promoting the wellbeing of its citizens and its economy. Both Prime Ministers presided over the signing of five agreements that reflect the deepening of these relations.
The agreements signed include:
- a Financing agreement for development of a plaza and 12km of the ‘Beautifying Sheger’ river bank project;
- Provision of grants for technical cooperation
- Provision of grants to go towards food aid
- Belt and Road Initiative five year cooperation plan
- an MOU operationalizing cooperation under FOCAC
During his stay, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with the leadership of the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) in Beijing on the margins of the Belt and Road Forum. CRCC’s current largest engagement includes connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti through the railway project. CRCC have expressed interest in investing in agro-industry parks development, oil and gas development and the Beautifying Sheger river project.
In a similar note, following a meeting with State Grid Corporation of China, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed oversaw the signing of a USD 1.8 billion investment agreement which covers provision of energy transmission and distribution lines. This project will supply power for up to 16 industrial parks; the Addis Ababa to Djibouti 2nd railway line and for different cities in the country. This agreement will facilitate not only uninterrupted power supply but also enable the creation of jobs.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also met with the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). They guaranteed their full cooperation, particularly in enabling the materialization of the investment in energy by the State Grid Corporation of China.