By Nihal Mounir
Egyptian-Ethiopian relations will not be affected by building the Renaissance Dam, according to member of the Ethiopian Egyptian Business Council (EEBC), and representative of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, Milako Gohar.
Rather, relations will enhance further, Gohar said, due to their economic nature, adding that the dam will not affect the investment environment in Egypt.
“Ethiopia always wishes to increase its trade relations with the Egyptian side,” said Gohar.
Egyptian-Ethiopian relations witnessed tensions on both the political and economic levels after the Ethiopian government announced in 2011 that it would begin building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The announcement sparked major concerns among the Egyptian government that Egypt’s share of Nile water would be majorly compromised, with various officials making aggressive statements regarding dealing with the “crisis”.
Gohar said about 120 Egyptian companies have launched negotiations with the Ethiopian government to pump investments into the petrochemicals, chemical industries, and leather products sectors.
Gohar explained that Ethiopian exports to Egypt amounted to $200m this year, and they are targeted to reach $1bn by 2020.
He added that Ethiopian exports to Egypt are concentrated in the fields of livestock, meat products, coffee, and spices.
Gohar noted that Ethiopia always participates in the Cairo International Exhibition, looking for investment opportunities and to increase exports. He added that 70 Ethiopian companies participated in the last exhibition.
He further pointed out that the Ethiopian government is involved in negotiations with its Egyptian counterpart to discuss the possibility of launching an Ethiopian exhibition in Egypt in the next period.