Ethiopia Strives to Maximize Trade with Russia amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Addis Ababa, May 28/2020( ENA) Ethiopia is working to maximize import-export relations with Russia in a bid to ameliorate its economy inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia. 

Talked to Sputnik News Agency, Ambassador Alemayehu Tegenu said the Government of Ethiopia has strategized to minimize the economic damage posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Ethiopia, being an agrarian economy, has placed stakes on increasing agricultural productivity and exports to Russia in mitigating the damage from the pandemic, the ambassador underscored.

Noting the export to Russia is going good, ambassador Alemayehu said, adding Ethiopian Airlines started cargo services; two days weekly the flight is available importing goods from Russia to Africa.

 “We are working to maximize the import-export activities between the two countries,” Alemayehu said, adding he expected “huge economic consequences” to follow the pandemic in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia imports from Russia various goods including iron and steel, inorganic chemicals, machinery, precious metals, and boilers.

On the other hand, he stated the tourism sector, which employs a large part of the population, coming to a halt even though the country did not do a total lockdown and let economic activities partially continue in a bid to avoid disruptions to economy.

It is to be recalled that last April Ethiopia declared a five-month state of emergency over COVID-19, but refrained from imposing a total lockdown similar to other countries in the region.

Ethiopia and Russia have longstanding historical ties going back to the 17th century but the two countries established diplomatic relations on April 21, 1943.