Commercial Relations

Last Updated on April 4, 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.

Bilateral Trade

  • 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. In 2020, bilateral trade between Ethiopia and India was USD1.14 billion, out of which India’s exports to Ethiopia were USD 1.08 billion and imports were USD 56.55 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 Mills, Ashton Apparels, Ethio Cements, Arvind Mills, Raymond, Kanoria Textiles, Hansa Flowers, Balaji Manufacturing PLC, Mahavir Textiles PLC, Aarti Steel, Mohan Group, Allanasons, GEC Steel, Ethal Aluminum and Abay Esdee Paints Limited.

Business delegations

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Addis Chamber International Trade Fairwas held in Addis Ababa (23-27 Feb 2023). One Indian company participated in the trade fair.
  • 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 Misganu Arga, 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).

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.

  • 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

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Last Updated on: June 9, 2023 @ 4:56 pm