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Netherlands to restart investment, dev’t projects disrupted due to conflict

Addis Ababa, May 18, 2023 (FBC) – The Netherlands, which is one of the biggest investors in Ethiopia, will restart investment and development projects halted due to the war in the northern part of the country, Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker said.

The ambassador told ENA that Ethiopia is in much better situation at the moment and sincerely hopes that it will continue on the path of economic and democratic reform as well.

The European Union has decided two weeks ago at the council of ministers level to re-engage with Ethiopia.

“We already have very large development cooperation program with Ethiopia. In fact, Ethiopia is the largest recipient in the world of our development cooperation funds and we will restart that part of the project we had stopped because of the war, “Ambassador Bakker revealed.

According to him, the major areas of cooperation for the Netherlands are agriculture, water, health, the Ambassador said, expressing readiness to restart the projects disrupted due to conflict in the north.

However, he also pointed out that the one very exciting and big project at the moment is the Africa Improved Foods that announced to invest in Ethiopia at the investment forum held here recently in Addis Ababa.

New investment will of course come in the coming years and we also have regular projects in development cooperation, the ambassador stated.

“We are one of the biggest investors in Ethiopia. There are many Dutch companies, about 90 in Ethiopia, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Most of them are in horticulture, agriculture, flowers; but we have also big investments in food and beverages. Heineken and Bavaria NV (which bought stakes in Habesha Breweries) are especially big beer investors.”

Many companies that have invested here are actually exporting to Europe. So almost all of the flowers that are produced by Dutch companies are being exported to the Netherlands and finding the way into the rest of Europe and even further away, he elaborated.

“That brings a lot of much needed forex to Ethiopia, and the Netherlands is actually the second largest export destination for Ethiopia worldwide. “We are very important partner for Ethiopia.”

Moreover, the Netherlands is Ethiopia’s second-largest export market as many Dutch flower growers are in Ethiopia.

The world’s largest rose farm, employing 13,000 workers, is found some 200 km from Addis Ababa, it was learned.

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