ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is in neighboring nation Sudan for a three-day official state visit has revealed his country’s interest to use Port Sudan for 50 percent of Ethiopia’s import needs.
The premier also indicated that preparatory works are being done between the two countries toward that regard.
Desalegn, who held discussion with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on ways of strengthening ties between the two neighboring countries, indicated that Port Sudan is geographically convenient for Ethiopia’s northern region.
Djibouti presently handles about 95 percent of landlocked Ethiopia’s export-import trade. The horn of African country also hopes the newly inaugurated 690 hectares Doraleh Multipurpose Port, a 590 million U.S. dollars turnkey project contracted by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, to leverage Ethiopia’s ever increasing import-export demand.
With Ethiopia’s population nearing 100 million people, and the economy growing at 11 percent annually, the desire to use the two ports has been considered by the Ethiopian government for some time.
Ethiopia and Sudan have also signed various cooperation agreements earlier this year with an aim to promote economic relations and strengthen overall ties among the two countries.