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Russian cars to be assembled in Ethiopia – envoy

Addis Ababa, May 29, 2023 (FBC) – Russian automakers are considering setting up an assembly plant in Ethiopia, RT reports, citing Russia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Evgeny Terekhin.

He told the Izvestia business newspaper this week that such a possibility is currently being discussed.

The envoy highlighted that trade between Russia and African nations has been growing, with combined turnover reaching $18 billion in 2022.

African countries sell fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, flowers, and precious woods to Russia, Terekhin explained.

“The lion’s share of Russian imports from Ethiopia is coffee, while more than half of Russia’s exports to the country in 2022 were wheat. In addition, Russia exports oil products and paper products to Ethiopia,” the diplomat noted.

Last week, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin held a meeting with Ethiopian House of Federation Speaker Agegnehu Teshager, where the two sides discussed economic cooperation.

“Ethiopia is an important Russian partner in Africa. We have always conducted such dialogue with Ethiopia, and have maintained relations for more than 125 years,” Volodin said.

The Duma chairman added that Russian companies are interested in long-term cooperation with Ethiopian partners in areas such as mining, energy, transport, construction, and agriculture.

According to Agegnehu, relations with Russia are strong but should be developed even further, especially in the fields of trade and investment.

“We want Russia to be our main trade destination,” the FDRE House of Federation Speaker stressed.

It is to be recalled that early in April, representatives of the renowned Russian car manufacturing companies, Lada and GAZ Group, expressed their desire to invest in the Dire-Dawa Free Trade Zone, Ethiopia. In their meeting with the leadership of Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation, the representatives said they have keen interest to manufacture various models of products and supply them to the Ethiopian market by engaging in the Dire-Dawa Free Trade Zone.

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