New Delhi, Feb 5 (ANI): Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrived in India on Thursday to bolster bilateral ties between the two nations.
Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee after meeting Zenawi in New Delhi, said, " We are committed to make our own contribution in the development of Ethiopia and are continuing to do so. We are encouraging Indian investors to go and make investment there. Various projects, which are underway, have to be expedited. We also shared our perceptions about the regional development. It was a good meeting."
India is the single largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approvals crossing 3.5 billion dollars out of which, two billion dollars is invested in agriculture and floriculture sector alone.
A number of Indian private companies have been using Ethiopia as a base station for the export of flowers to Europe. Mostly, roses are cultivated and exported out of Ethiopia.
In the context of India's huge investments in Ethiopia, the two countries are negotiating a double taxation avoidance agreement, which is expected to be clinched in the next three months.
A bilateral investment promotion and agreement has already been signed.
India enjoys a huge trade surplus with Ethiopia (exports in 2007-08 were over 400 million dollars and imports around 14 million dollars).
In addition, Ethiopia has large deposits of potash that can be exploited by the Indian companies, since India has to import a large part of its potassium fertilizers from other countries. (ANI)