Ethiopia Launches Ambitious Plan to Boost Exports to China

Ethiopia Launches Ambitious Plan To Boost Exports To China

In a bid to strengthen bilateral trade ties and capitalize on the growing demand in the Chinese market, Ethiopia has unveiled an ambitious plan to significantly increase its exports to China. The move comes as part of the Ethiopian government’s broader strategy to diversify its export destinations and foster economic growth.

Ethiopia, known for its rich agricultural resources and emerging industrial sector, sees China as a key market for its products. The plan aims to tap into China’s vast consumer base and take advantage of the country’s increasing appetite for quality goods and commodities.

Under the new initiative, Ethiopian authorities are focusing on expanding the export of various products, including coffee, tea, textiles, leather goods, horticultural products, and manufactured goods. The government plans to leverage existing trade agreements between the two nations and explore new avenues to facilitate smoother trade flows.

To achieve this goal, Ethiopia intends to enhance its trade infrastructure, streamline export processes, and promote investment in key sectors. Efforts are underway to improve logistics and transport networks, ensuring efficient movement of goods from Ethiopia to China. Additionally, the government is actively encouraging partnerships between Ethiopian and Chinese businesses to foster collaboration and boost trade.

Ethiopia’s prime location as a gateway to Africa and its preferential access to global markets through trade agreements, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), provide a competitive advantage for the country. The government aims to leverage these factors to attract more foreign direct investment and expand its manufacturing capacity, ultimately increasing the volume and value of exports to China.

Chinese investors have been increasingly interested in Ethiopia in recent years, drawn by its favourable investment climate and the government’s commitment to economic reforms. Chinese companies have already made significant investments in sectors like manufacturing, infrastructure development, and renewable energy.

The Ethiopian government recognizes the need for targeted marketing and promotional campaigns to raise awareness about the country’s export potential among Chinese consumers and businesses. It plans to organize trade fairs, exhibitions, and business forums to showcase Ethiopian products and facilitate direct engagement between exporters and potential buyers in China.

Ethiopia’s push to increase exports to China aligns with its broader economic vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2025. By diversifying its export markets and expanding trade partnerships, Ethiopia aims to create employment opportunities, foster technological transfer, and boost foreign exchange earnings.

However, challenges remain on the path to achieving these goals. Infrastructure limitations, bureaucratic hurdles, and the need for capacity-building are among the key obstacles that need to be addressed. The government is actively working to overcome these challenges by implementing reforms aimed at improving the business environment and enhancing the ease of doing business.

As Ethiopia sets its sights on boosting exports to China, all eyes are on the progress it makes in implementing its strategic plan. With concerted efforts, increased investments, and effective promotion of its products, Ethiopia has the potential to unlock new opportunities in the Chinese market, paving the way for sustainable economic growth and development.


Source: Ethiopian News Agency

WHO Requests Detailed Information from China Amidst Unexplained Outbreak of Respiratory Illness in Children

Who Requests Detailed Information From China Amidst Unexplained Outbreak Of Respiratory Illness In Children

In recent days, local media in cities such as Xian in northwest China have been sharing videos online depicting hospitals overwhelmed with parents and children waiting to receive medical attention. Concerned about the situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reached out to China, requesting more detailed information about the outbreak of a respiratory illness and the reported clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia among children.

The WHO has observed that since mid-October, northern China has experienced a surge in influenza-like illnesses compared to the same period in previous years. In response to these developments, the organization has officially asked China for additional information and laboratory results regarding the reported outbreaks among children.

While waiting for a response from the Chinese authorities, the WHO has issued recommendations for Chinese communities to take preventive measures. These measures include getting vaccinated, wearing masks, maintaining a distance from sick individuals, staying at home when feeling unwell, and practicing regular hand-washing.

Chinese authorities have attributed the increase in respiratory illnesses to a combination of factors. They include a cold snap, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the circulation of known pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, as well as common bacterial infections affecting children like mycoplasma pneumonia.

As the temperatures dropped in Beijing, located in the northern part of the country, the city entered a high incidence season for respiratory infectious diseases. Wang Quanyi, deputy director and chief epidemiological expert at the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that the city is currently experiencing a trend of multiple pathogens coexisting.

On Wednesday, the WHO revealed that various groups, including the Programme for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, reported clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in northern China. Children’s hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning, which are 500 miles apart, were described as “overwhelmed with sick children” in a report by Taiwanese outlet FTV News.

The WHO emphasized that it remains unclear whether these cases are linked to the overall increase in respiratory infections previously reported by Chinese authorities or if they are separate events. The organization has requested further information about the circulation of known pathogens and the impact on healthcare systems. It is actively collaborating with clinicians and scientists to gather more data.

The WHO’s office in China has described this action as a routine check. The increase in respiratory diseases was initially disclosed during a news conference held by Chinese officials from the National Health Commission last week.

The situation is being closely monitored both locally and internationally as health authorities work to understand and address the unexplained outbreak of respiratory illness among children in China.


Source: Sky News

China Expands Crackdown on Mosques Outside Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch Says

China Expands Crackdown On Mosques Outside Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch Says

The Chinese government’s crackdown on mosques has extended beyond the borders of Xinjiang, the region where it has long been accused of persecuting Muslim minorities, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday.

The report reveals that authorities in the northern Ningxia region and Gansu province have closed mosques as part of an official process known as “consolidation.” These areas are home to significant populations of Hui Muslims. Human Rights Watch compiled the report based on public documents, satellite images, and testimonies from witnesses.

In addition to closures, local authorities have been removing architectural elements from mosques to give them a more “Chinese” appearance. This move is part of a broader campaign by the ruling Communist Party to exert greater control over religious practices and minimise the potential for challenges to its authority.

Since 2016, when President Xi Jinping called for the “Sinicization” of religions, the Chinese government has intensified its crackdown, primarily focusing on Xinjiang, where over 11 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities reside.

According to Human Rights Watch, Chinese authorities have taken various measures in regions outside Xinjiang, including decommissioning, closing down, demolishing, or re-purposing mosques for secular use. Disturbingly, the report also highlights videos obtained by the organisation that show damage inflicted on the ablution hall of one mosque.

The expansion of the mosque crackdown beyond Xinjiang raises concerns about the worsening situation for religious freedom in China. Human rights advocates continue to call on the international community to address these human rights violations and press for meaningful change to protect the rights of religious minorities in the country.


Source: The Independent

Kenya Raises Passenger Fares on Chinese-Built Railway Amid Debt Repayment Challenges and Fuel Price Hike

Kenya Raises Passenger Fares On Chinese Built Railway Amid Debt Repayment Challenges And Fuel Price Hike

In response to mounting debt obligations to Beijing and other lenders, as well as the surge in fuel prices, Kenya has announced a significant increase in passenger fares for the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The state-owned Kenya Railways revealed that the journey between Mombasa and Nairobi, spanning 470 kilometers (290 miles), will now cost $30 in first class, a rise from $19, while economy class fares will increase to $10 from $6.

Kenya Railways justified the fare hike by attributing it to the global escalation in fuel prices, which has impacted their operational costs. The decision comes shortly after Kenya’s central bank governor, Kamau Thugge, acknowledged that the Kenyan shilling had been overvalued by 25% for years, resulting in an artificially strong exchange rate.

President William Ruto’s recent visit to China, where he sought a $1 billion loan for unfinished infrastructure projects, raised eyebrows since Kenya’s total debt has reached a record $70 billion. Despite the financial challenges, Ruto pursued further funding. The revised train fares are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, affecting not only the popular commuter rail service in Nairobi but also the Kisumu and Nanyuki safari trains, known for attracting numerous tourists annually.

The SGR, constructed at a cost of $4.7 billion financed by Chinese banks, commenced operations in 2017. However, it has encountered difficulties in generating sufficient cargo service demand. According to economist Aly-Khan Satchu, the viability of the Kenya SGR hinges on expanding its cross-border reach to ensure financial sustainability. Satchu suggested that connecting Uganda’s oil resources to the sea and facilitating transportation of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could enhance the project’s prospects.

Kenya’s escalating public debt has prompted President Ruto to implement stringent austerity measures, including travel restrictions and budget cuts exceeding 10% for all government ministries. Nevertheless, Ruto has faced criticism from Kenyans due to his extensive foreign trips, numbering 38 since assuming office in September 2022, surpassing the travel records of his four predecessors during their initial year in power.


Source: AP

Zimbabwe Explores Incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine into Health Sector

Zimbabwe is actively working towards integrating traditional Chinese medicine into its health sector, according to a cabinet minister. During a bilateral meeting with China’s vice minister of the National Health Commission, Douglas Mombeshora, Zimbabwe’s Health minister, expressed efforts to familiarize themselves with traditional Chinese medicine.

Mombeshora highlighted the positive impact of Chinese doctors practicing acupuncture in Zimbabwe, which had benefited patients. The country is currently in the process of regulating traditional medicine practices and aims to cooperate with China in various areas to achieve shared goals.

The Health minister commended the People’s Republic of China for its support in implementing various projects in Zimbabwe, particularly in the health sector. He specifically mentioned the construction of the National Pharmaceutical Warehouse, which is one of the largest warehouses in the southern African region. The project, funded by a Chinese grant of US$22 million, was completed and handed over to the government of Zimbabwe.

During the meeting, China’s vice minister, Yu Xuejun, acknowledged Zimbabwe’s commitment to maintaining strong relations between the two countries. He mentioned that China has been sending medical teams to Zimbabwe since 1985. Yu expressed his appreciation for the outstanding service provided by members of the Chinese medical teams and expressed a desire for further discussions to strengthen relations, particularly in the health sector.

The discussions took place on the sidelines of the international Inter-ministerial Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Population and Development, held in Victoria Falls. The conference brought together representatives from over 30 countries, and it was set to be officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.


Source: Newsday Zimbabwe