A new era in Dubai and Ethiopia’s bilateral relationship commenced with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry announcing the opening of a representative office by the end of the year in Addis Ababa. The announcement came at the successful conclusion of the Dubai Chamber Trade Mission to Ethiopia held from May 15 to 17. Thirty Dubai delegates and 200 participants attended the UAE-Ethiopia Business Forum held in Addis Ababa on the second day of the Dubai Chamber Trade Mission to Ethiopia which sought enhanced bilateral ties with the African country. H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, stated that the trade mission, which came as part of Dubai Chamber’s strategy to explore promising markets for its members, was highly successful as Ethiopia with its close proximity to Dubai is an ideal destination for the emirate’s businesses as it offers ample opportunities in agriculture, construction, hospitality and tourism sectors. He further stressed that selecting Ethiopia, which is the fifth largest economy in Africa and poised to become the third largest in the next 10 years, was not done randomly but the choice is based on a lot of research and studies as Dubai can play a strategic role as a gateway for Ethiopian exports in the GCC and Middle East region, South East Asia and Europe, he said. Dubai Chamber also revealed the plans for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Union during the Eastern African Community (EAC) Forum in Dubai in October which will inform the business community of Dubai about the investment potential of the African countries while allowing both the sides to discuss joint cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Agreeing to sign a MoU with the African Union shows the commitment of both the sides while the move particularly reinforces the status and high reputation enjoyed by the emirate as the benefit of the agreement can be reaped by Dubai’s business community first, H.E. Buamim added. H.E. Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, highlighted the outcome of the trade mission which he said is the largest in the history of Dubai Chamber and showed instant benefits as some of the delegates agreed to start investment projects in Ethiopia’s agriculture and infrastructure sectors. H.E. Al Ghurair also added that the meetings the members had during the three days of the trade mission also enabled them to come out with clear ideas about investment opportunities in Ethiopia, especially in the field of agriculture and food sectors as the UAE imports 80% of its food supplies from abroad. The delegation also met H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, who praised Dubai’s reputation as the main trading and logistics centre in the region while stating that the signing of the MoU shows the two sides’ willingness to take the relations to the next level.