PM Hailemariam Desalegn: Ethiopia Prefers Trade with the UK rather than Receiving Aid

By Yemane Nagish

Prime Minister Hailamariam Desalegn held discussions with the deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Nick Clegg, at his office yesterday on issues ranging from trade and investment to human rights and democracy.

Briefing the press the two leaders said that they held fruitful deliberations. Hailemariam noted that his country is the top recipient of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the government of the UK and expressed his gratitude to the Kingdom.

Hailemariam however emphasized his countries preference for trade rather than aid. “Our ambition is to have trade than aid. Trade and investment have to grow between us.” He conveyed his appreciation to the DPM on the considerable investment activities UK investors have already commenced in Ethiopia.

The two leaders also discussed peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa. Particularly they agreed to cooperate on current security developments in Somalia and South Sudan. Hailemariam called up on the deputy PM to join hands in the upcoming London conference, which is aimed at bringing peace and security to the Horn.

The other major areas of discussion were transparency and tax reform, top agendas of the UK, which currently holds the G8 presidency.

“Ethiopia is becoming one of the top destinations of extractive sector for UK investors. We want to see transparency in this regard for mutual benefit,” Hailemariam added.

On democracy and human rights the two agreed to pursue dialogue.

“We are on the right track but we need to work with our partners, particularly with the UK because we want to nurture the democratic process,” Hailemariam said.

Source: The Reporter