Commercial Relations

Last Updated on December 1, 2023



  • India and Ethiopia have long-standing economic and commercial relations, which are centuries old and can be traced back over 2000 years of recorded history. During the Axumite Kingdom, Indian traders had links with the ancient port of Adulis in the eastern part of Ethiopia and traded silk and spices for gold and ivory.
  • In recent years, with the opening up of the Ethiopian economy, business ties between the two countries have grown significantly, especially in the areas of trade, investment, agriculture and infrastructure projects.

Joint Trade Committee meeting in Addis Ababa (6-7 Nov 2023)


  • India and Ethiopia held the Sixth Joint Trade Committee meeting at the level of Director General / Joint Secretary in Addis Ababa.
  • Ethiopian Minister for Trade and Regional Integration H.E. Mr. Gebremeskel Chala attended the inaugural session.
  • Both sides made comprehensive review of their bilateral trade and acknowledged the huge potential for expansion and diversification of the trade basket. They agreed to cooperate in standardization and quality assurance, financial, pharmaceutical, automobile, renewable energy, agriculture & food processing sectors.

Bilateral Trade

  • Bilateral trade between Ethiopia and India stood at USD 2.8 billion in 2022, out of which Ethiopia’s exports were about USD 80 million. Bilateral trade between Ethiopia and India stood at USD 1.8 billion in 2021, out of which Ethiopia’s exports were about USD 75.13 million (Source: National Bank of Ethiopia).
  • Exports from India mainly include primary and semi-finished iron and steel products, drugs and pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, manufactures of metal, etc. Major imports by India from Ethiopia were: pulses, precious and semi-precious stones, vegetables & seeds, leather and spices.
  • India is the second largest trading partner for Ethiopia, accounting for 10.2% of Ethiopia’s global trade.

Marketing/Investment opportunities in Ethiopia

  • Areas with most promising potential for investments in the country are agriculture, food-processing, leather & leather products, textile & garments, horticulture, sugar & related industry, chemicals industry, pharmaceutical industry, cement industry, metal & engineering industry, construction, mining & oil and hydropower.
  • Leading non-agricultural sectors and investment include renewable energy, information technology and communications, construction, tourism and aviation. Sub-sectors such as mobile banking services and outsourcing services, website software and technologies, software development for e-Government services, and ICT training services are going to be among the major investment opportunities in the country.
  • The road construction and expansion projects in the country also offer opportunities either to directly involve in the construction work or export of construction machinery, chemicals, and building materials as well as consultancy and supervision services.

Bilateral Trade and Investment

  • Since the opening up of the Ethiopian economy in the last decade, business ties between the two countries have increased significantly especially in the area of infrastructure projects like roads, power, telecommunications and water resources.
  • First meeting of Joint Trade Committee was held in Addis Ababa (1998). The last (fifth) JTC meeting was held in Addis Ababa (Oct 2008).
  • Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was signed on 5 July 2007 but it has not been operationalized.
  • Joint Business Council was established between FICCI/ASSOCHAM and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce (1997).
  • Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed in May 2011.


  • Indian companies are in the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia with newer Indian multinationals marking their presence in Ethiopia.
  • There are about 650 Indian companies in Ethiopia with licensed investment of over USD 5 billion of which about USD 3-4 billion is estimated to be on the ground. Indian investors are the second-largest foreign employers in Ethiopia, providing employment to more than 75,000 persons. About 61.78% of Indian investment is in the manufacturing sector, followed by agriculture (13.1%).
  • Indian companies have invested in various sectors like agriculture and floriculture, engineering, plastics, manufacturing, cotton and textiles, water management, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
  • Some of the major Indian companies include Cadilla Pharmaceuticals, Kilitch Estro, Glocare Pharma, Asian Paints, Jay Jay Textiles, Ashton Apparels, Ethio Cements, Arvind Mills, Raymond, Kanoria Textiles, Hansa Flowers, Balaji Manufacturing, Mahavir Textiles, Aarti Steel, Mohan Group, Allanasons, Mohan Group, GEC Steel, Ethal Aluminum and Abay Esdee Paints.

Business delegations /events

  • India-Ethiopia Pharma Conference & B2B meetingwas held in Addis Ababa (20 Nov 2023). Pharmexcil led a business delegation of about 40 companies from India.
  • Indian Economic Trade Organizationmounted a business delegation to Ethiopia (18-20 Nov 2023). The delegation called on State Minister for Industry. Besides B2B meetings, the delegation attended a briefing session at the Ethiopian Investment Commission.
  • Business Roundtable at Hawassa (16 Nov 2023): Embassy in collaboration with Infolink University, Hawassa Chamber of Commerce and Sidama Chamber of Commerce organised a business roundtable in Hawassa to explore business collaboration between India and Sidama region. Also, presentations on select star sectors of India and some states of India were made. The roundtable ended with Q&A session.
  • Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations – business opportunities with India (24 Aug 2023): On the occasion of the annual thanksgiving reception by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations, Embassy of India made a presentation on business opportunities with India including some of the star sectors of India. Video of Incredible India was also shown. Also, representatives of Indian companies participated in the networking reception.
  • FICCI Secretary General’s visit (18 Aug 2023): FICCI Secretary General visited Addis Ababa and met Ambassador. Also, he held discussions with Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission and at the African Union Commission. He also interacted with the executive committee of the India Business Forum over lunch.
  • India Africa ICT Expo at Addis Ababa (9 Aug 2023): State Minister for Innovation and Technology and Ambassador inaugurated the India Africa ICT Expo at Skylight Hotel in Addis Ababa. The expo was organized Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council of India and Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. Supporting partners were Addis Ababa Chambers of Commerce & Sectoral Association, ICT Association Ethiopia and India-Africa ICT Forum. About 30 ICT companies from India and 50 Ethiopian companies participated in the event.
  • Business Roundtable in Adama (18 July 2023): Embassy in collaboration with Adama Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association organized a business roundtable in Adama. About 100 businessmen from Adama attended the event. Representatives of Indian factories based in Adama and Modjo also attended the event. Presentation on India-Ethiopia bilateral relations, economic opportunities between India and Ethiopia and star sectors of India was well received.
  • Agrofood & Plastprintpack Ethiopia (8 June 2023): State Minister for Industry and Ambassador interacted with Indian companies participating at the Agrofood & Plastprintpack Exhibition in Addis Ababa. Three companies from India and two Indian companies based in Addis Ababa (Mohan Group and Continental Printers) participated in the exhibition.
  • TEPC delegationvisited Addis Ababa (22-24 May 2023) in connection with proposed 9th edition of India Africa ICT Expo. They met concerned stake holders including ICT Association, Addis Ababa Chambers of Commerce, Ethiopian Chambers of Commerce and government agencies.
  • Tamrit Expo (8 May): 3 Indian companies participated at the Tamrit Expo organized by Ministry of Industry. During the expo, Ambassador visited the stalls of Kanoria, Allied Chemicals and KADISCO/Asian Paints.
  • Ethio Chamber International Trade Fair (27 April – 1 May 2023): Embassy participated in the trade fair in Addis Ababa. We were honored with the visits of Hon’ble Minister for Trade & Regional Integration and Hon’ble State Minister for Innovation & Technology.
  • Addis Chamber International Trade Fairwas held in Addis Ababa (23-27 Feb 2023). One Indian company participated in the trade fair.
  • Ethio Health Exhibition and Congress (23-25 Feb 2023): 32 Indian companies participated in the Ethio Health Exhibition and Congress. FICCI had facilitated their participation.
  • Light Expo in Addis Ababa (23-25 Jan 2023): State Minister for Trade & Regional Integration inaugurated the India pavilion at the Light Expo – International Trade Exhibition in Addis Ababa (23 Jan). ASSOCHAM led the participation of 38 companies from India. Besides, an Indian company based in Ethiopia also participated in the trade exhibition.
  • Roadshow on ELECRAMA 2023 was held at the Embassy (24 Jan 2023). Also, Embassy held interaction with representatives of Ethiopian Pharma companies and discussed business collaboration with India (14 Feb 2023).
  • Africa Sourcing Fashion Week in Addis Ababa (4-7 Nov 2022): Ethiopian Minister of Industry and Minister of Tourism inaugurated the India Pavilion. The Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council, 11 Indian companies and 2 Indian companies based in Ethiopia participated at the Africa Sourcing Fashion Week in Addis Ababa. On the sidelines, a Roadshow on Source India was held at the Embassy.
  • Ethio Health Exhibition & Congress in Addis Ababa (3-5 March 2022): 47 Indian companies participated at the Ethio Health Exhibition & Congress in Addis Ababa. On the sidelines of the exhibition, Embassy organized a business meeting. FICCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectorial Associations.
  • Earlier (24 Feb 2022), Embassy organized an interaction with some of the companies / agencies (education and health) in Addis Ababa. A presentation on Study in India was made, which was followed by clarifications on visa regulations and procedures for student and medical visas. During the month of April 2022, Embassy organized an interaction with representatives of Indian mining companies in Ethiopia, virtual meeting with Indian textile companies in Ethiopia, and an interaction of Indian agriculture companies in Ethiopia).  Mission also organized interaction with Indian companies in logistics sector (14 July) and plastic sector (22 July).
  • During the month of August 2022, two business roundtables were held – business collaboration between Oromia region and India (Bishoftu), and business collaboration between Amhara region and India (Debre Birhan).
  • On the sidelines of the visit of Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister to India, a Business Forum meeting was held in New Delhi (17 Feb 2021). As part of India@75 celebrations, a business interaction was held at the Embassy premises (25 May 2021). State Minister for Foreign Affairs, State Minister for Trade & Industry and representatives of Ministry of Mines and Ethiopian Investment Commission interacted with more than 110 Indian investors.  State Minister for Foreign Affairs listened to the issues raised by Indian investors and assured them of early resolution.
  • Ethiopian Minister of Industry participated in the 17th CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India – Africa Growth Partnership (July 2022). He was one of the speakers at the Trade Ministerial Session – Building B2G Bridge. Minister of Industry met Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Smt. Anupriya Patel in New Delhi. They discussed on strengthening our strong and deep bilateral relationship with a focus on enhanced economic cooperation and bilateral engagement.
  • Ethiopian Minister of Trade & Industry participated in the CII-Exim Bank conclave (July 2021). CEO of Tourism Ethiopia participated in the segment on tourism and hospitality. Ethiopian Agriculture Minister participated as Guest of Honour in the CII India Africa Agriculture & Food Processing Summit (Sept 2021). Ethiopian Minister of Trade & Regional Integration participated in the CII Partnership Summit (Dec 2021).
  • FIEO in collaboration with the mission organized a webinar on Trade and Investment opportunities between India and Ethiopia – post Covid-19 (Jan 2021). The event was attended by 110 participants. India-Ethiopia virtual business session was organised by CII, Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi and EoI Addis Ababa (Jan 2021). The event was attended by Ethiopian State Minister for Trade, Ambassadors of Ethiopia and India, and more than 100 participants. Study in India Educational Fair was held at Embassy of India, Addis Ababa (Feb 2021). About 15 universities/colleges from India participated at the fair, and the event saw enthusiastic participation of large number of Ethiopian students. Virtual meeting on India-Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Cooperation and Regulatory Development was held on 17 Feb 2021.
  • Business delegations from India visit Ethiopia regularly. They include Engineering Export Promotion Council delegation (March 2016), delegation of the Basic Chemicals, Cosmetics & Dyes Export Promotion Council (Aug 2016), ASSOCHAM participation at the 9th Ethio Chamber International Trade Fair (Nov 2016), CII delegation (Feb 2017), Indian Medical Tourism Destination exhibition (Feb 2017), Indian participation at the Addis Chamber International Trade Fair (Feb 2017), Indian Textile Exhibition (March 2017), 7th Hortiflora Ethiopia 2019 (March 2019), 2nd Ethiopia International Trade Exhibition (March 2019), second Indian Medical Tourism Destination (Sept 2019), FIEO business delegation (Nov 2019), and Indian participation at ITME Africa 2020 (Feb 2020).
  • Ethiopian delegations had attended SVUM 2016 International Trade Show at Rajkot (Feb 2016), CAP India 2016 – a joint initiative of CHEMEXCIL, PLEXCONCIL, CAPEXIL and SHEFEXIL in the Chemicals & Plastics Sector in Mumbai (March 2016), CII-EXIM Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi (March 2017), 52ndAnnual Meetings of African Development Bank Group at Gandhinagar (May 2017), delegation including government officials and textile industry representatives to Government Polytechnic Nagpur (May 2017), Plast India Exhibition in Gandhinagar (Feb 2018), IPHEX-2018 in New Delhi (May 2018), IPHEX-2019 in New Delhi (June 2019), 48th Edition of Handicraft Fair in Delhi (Oct 2019), 2nd International Exhibition on AROGYA in Varanasi (Oct 2019), World Trade Expo 2019 in Mumbai (Nov 2019), and a delegation from Ethiopian micro and financial sector (Dec 2019).
  • Director General of the Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority participated as a guest speaker in Global Regulators Conclave held on sidelines of   iPHEX 2022 (Sept 2022).  The event also witnessed participation of Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Service and many importers of pharma sectors. 19 Ethiopian companies participated in Source India Mumbai 2022 (Nov 2022). A delegation from the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectorial Association participated in the International Sourcing Exposition for Elevators and Escalator in Mumbai (Dec 2022).
  • A 10 member delegation from Ethiopia participated in the 15thedition of ELECRAMA (18-22 Feb 2023).
  • During March 2023, 7-member delegation from Ethiopia participated in a Pharma Live Expo in Mumbai; 3-member delegation from Ethiopia participated in a Reverse Buyer-Seller Meet held at JUTEXPO 2023 in Kolkata; Ethiopian companies participated in a Reverse Buyer-Seller Meet at INDIASOPFT 2023 at Pragati Maidan; 6-member delegation from Ethiopia participated in a Reverse Buyer-Seller Meet at India Electronics Expo in New Delhi; and Ethiopian companies participated at the 4th Logix India 2023 in Mumbai.
  • Ethiopian pharma companies as well as representatives of Ethiopian Food & Drug Authority participated in the iPHEX 2023, an International Exhibition of Pharma and Healthcare (5-7 July). They also participated in Africa Session organized during the exhibition.

India Business Forum

  • Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa supports the India Business Forum (IBF) which focuses on promoting bilateral trade and investment between India and Ethiopia. IBF was launched on 30 October 2005, and has organized meetings with Ethiopian federal and regional authorities, General Managers of Banks, Ethiopian Customs Revenues Authority, etc.
  • On the sidelines of the visit of Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister to India, IBF attended the India Ethiopia Business Forum meeting in New Delhi (17 Feb 2021). IBF made a presentation on investment opportunities in Ethiopia.
  • Embassy and IBF organized a business interaction with State Minister for Foreign Affairs and State Minister for Trade and Industry (25 May 2021). About 110 Indian investors attended the event.
  • State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hussein received the executive committee of India Business Forum (18 March 2022). State Minister for Foreign Affairs listened to the issues raised by IBF delegation and assured them of early resolution.
  • Secretary (Economic Relations) addressed a gathering of India Business Community organized by the Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa (4 Oct 2022). Over 100 business persons attended the event.
  • Embassy and IBF organized a webinar on Ambassador Gurjit Singh’s book – The Harambee Factor: India-Africa Economic and Development Partnership (14 Oct 2022). State Minister for Industry and Commissioner, Ethiopian Investment Commission participated in the webinar.
  • IBF hosted a joint networking reception for two Indian business delegations mounted by Pharmexcil and Indian Economic Trade Organization (20 Nov 2023).

December 2023

  • Address : 224, Kebele 13/14, Woreda 07, Arada Sub-City, Near Bel Air Hotel, Aware, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Working : 09:00 am and 11:30 am on all working days, (Mondays to Fridays) except Holidays.
  • Telephone Numbers : 00-251-11-6362010
  • E-Mail :hoc[dot]addisababa[at]mea[dot]gov[dot]in

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Last Updated on: June 28, 2024 @ 6:58 pm