Northern Powerhouse mission explores business opportunities in Ethiopia

Northern Powerhouse delegation in Ethiopia
The Northern Powerhouse Trade Delegation at the British Embassy in Ethiopia. Photo: Twitter/_saraknowles

The delegates on the Northern Powerhouse Mission to Ethiopia have returned back to the UK after concluding their visit which helped them understand the variety and depth of business opportunities on offer to UK interests in the Ethiopian Market.

These included manufacturing, engineering, construction, food and liquids processing and packaging, transport and logistics, airport design consultancy and planning as well as renewable energy and power.

Annually, the Northern Powerhouse run 20 trade missions to locations all over the world in addition the the Department for International Trade’s central programme of trade mission activity. As the fourth largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and predicted to be the third largest by 2025, Ethiopia is an important market for British companies to trade in.

British exports to Ethiopia rose 135 per cent from £80 million in 2010 to £149 million in 2017.

Northern Powerhouse delegation in Ethiopia
The Northern Powerhouse delegation prepare to depart from Manchester Airport. Photo: Twitter/bmullin72

Delegates arrived in Addis Ababa on 25 March and during the visit were accompanied by experienced International Trade Advisors to assist them with a hosted programme that involved a UK embassy visit; Political, economic and cultural briefings; Industry site visits; Business to business meetings; Ministry meetings and Meetings with local service providers including law firms.

Northern Powerhouse delegation in Ethiopia
The NorthernPowerhouse delegation get to grips with the legalities of trading in Ethiopia at the Mehrteab Leila & Associates Law Office. Photo: Twitter/bmullin72

The mission was led by Department for International Trade advisor Sara Knowles who said the delegation found a “lot of interesting trade opportunities, not least in construction, manufacturing, engineering and foods and food processing.”

Also making the trip to East Africa was Jonathan Fisher of Fisher Modular Construction Ltd. By being part of the delegation, he said he developed a better understanding of the Ethiopian business landscape, which is difficult to gauge back in the UK. 

“We’ve had some encouraging meetings directly with engineering and construction businesses here,” he said.

Mr Fisher said that the trip had provided a “few ideas” and there were “few ideas” which his company could explore. “We’ll be taking those back to the UK, having a look at it, having a think about it, and seeing what those opportunities are,” he added. He also intends to  keep a dialogue going with companies over here who he met with.

During the trade mission, the delegation also met Haile Gebrselassie, former Olympic and World athletics  Champion in athletics, turned entrepreneur who provided an insight into Ethiopian business, culture and suggested collaboration.

Northern Powerhouse delegation in Ethiopia
The Northern Powerhouse delegation meet Haile Gebrselassie. Photo: Twitter/_saraknowles

The trade delegation returned home to Manchester on Friday 29 March.

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