Beijing, November 29 - The China-Ethiopia High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Investment took place today in Beijing, with an aim to facilitate knowledge exchanges and build networks to promote sustainable investment in Ethiopia under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The dialogue is organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MOFA), Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

In line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this high-level dialogue is part of the Sustainable Investment Promotion (SIP) facilities Programme, which is supported by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund (UNPDF) of UNDESA. The SIP programme aims to facilitate the establishment of sustainable investment platforms and practices in BRI partner countries to augment the impact of BRI investment and finance for the attainment of the SDGs. It is also designed to help strengthen partner country capacities to leverage investment that respond to their national development priorities and local needs.

“If BRI investments follow sustainability criteria and SDG principles, then the BRI’s key projects - focused on connectivity and integration – could help unlock the funding and know-how to fulfil the SDGs, and their promise of leaving no one behind,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China during the event.

The event brought together over 200 participants from Chinese and Ethiopian governments, enterprises, chambers of commerce, United Nations, local embassies, development agencies, and think tanks. Specifically, the dialogue aims to leverage sustainable investment opportunities, facilitate tangible exchanges of knowledge and industry insights, enhance the capacities of policy makers and technical experts in tackling practical barriers, and ultimately create a more enabling environment for sustainable investment in Ethiopia.

Focusing on the experiences and lessons-learned in advancing sustainable investment along the Belt and Road, the dialogue zoomed in on China’s relevant experience in areas such as overseas economic trade cooperation zones, and discussed how to leverage international cooperation opportunities to maximize development dividends of foreign investments at national, regional and global levels. The dialogue also shed light on challenges and pathways in utilizing existing resources, platforms and networks to make sustainable investment more accessible and practical in Ethiopia.

Mr. GUO Xuejun, Deputy Director General of Department of International Economics of MOFA and Executive Director of the Liaison Office of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation noted that “we look forward to working with Ethiopia to initiate more connectivity projects which are high-quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, inclusive, accessible and broadly beneficial. We are decdicated to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, oppose protectionism and make greater contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

As part of the dialogue, a sectoral roundtable on sustainable investment promotion in Ethiopia was held in the afternoon. Covering a range of sectors including pharmaceutical, agro-processing, leather, textile, information communication and technology (ICT), tourism and mining, Ethiopian government representatives provided investment pitches introducing Ethiopia’s general investment environment and requirements, cooperation modalities and market entry points. Existing and potential investors also joined the dialogue to jointly discuss practical challenges and pathways with regard to investing in Ethiopia.  

Mr. Aschalew Tadesse Mecheso, Investment Promotion Directorate Director of the EIC highlighted that “Foreign direct investment benefits the global economy, as well as investors and recipient countries. Most countries, especially developing countries like Ethiopia, seek foreign direct investments. But currently, the sustainability of each investment project has been an issue globally. Each country should have a policy to consider how to evaluate investment projects prior to implementation.”

The high-level dialogue concluded a three-day knowledge exchange programme (November 26th to 28th) for Ethiopian policy makers on sustainable investment promotion, in response to Ethiopia’s interest to learn from the China’s experience in applying Environmental, Social Resonsiblity and Corporate Governance (ESG) criteria as one of the tools to guide sustainable investments.

 

For more information please contact:

Ms. MENG Jun, Assistant Communications Officer, UNDP China

Tel: +8610 8532 0719        Email: cn.communications@undp.org

 

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