22 September 2009

Ethiopia to Build Africa International Trade Centre

Construction of a modern multi-million Africa International Trade Centre is under way in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.
The trade centre to be called Addis Africa International Trade Centre will be the first of its kind in Africa and will among other things enhance business and economic interaction among Africans.
Trade centre project manager Ayalew Abey disclosed in Addis Ababa that the project which is owned by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) will cost about US$23million.
Mr Abey said the project is unique because it will see the birth of a trade centre which will bring together all African countries and provide an opportunity for them to sell their products particularly exports to the rest of the continent.
Construction of the trade centre which will start soon is expected to be accomplished in three distinct phases and estimated to take three years to complete.
Zambia's ambassador to Ethiopia Albert Muchanga has described the project as a positive development to Zambia and Africa as a whole.
Mr Muchanga said Zambia would benefit by ensuring she undertakes regular exhibitions of export products potential to Ethiopia, the rest of Africa and even to the Middle East.

Apart from providing a forum for trade, the centre will also have a training, research and information department which will provide African business people with information on business and investment opportunities on the continent.

The trade centre will be constructed by renowned architectural and engineering talents on an area more than 110,000 square metres in front of Addis Ababa's CMC Diplomatic Village.
The AACCSA recently organised a retreat in Sodere Resort (50km south of Addis Ababa) as part of the consultative process towards the establishment of the centre. The retreat attracted participants from the AACCSA, the city administration and African diplomats based in Addis Ababa.
Fikre Binyam a business executive based in Addis Ababa said the trade centre will enable Ethiopian businesspersons to expand sales for their export products.
"Ethiopian businesspersons and women have had opportunities to participate in trade fairs in different African countries but the trade centre to be constructed in Addis Ababa will help us to sell our products to many African countries," he said.
Mr Binyam said the project should be supported because it will be the first trade centre in Africa to help promote trade and investment on the continent.

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