Milano Expo 2015: Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum (photo: Zemedeneh Nigatu)Over 300 Italian firms crowded Milan’s Stelline Conference Centre on Monday to attend the Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum.

The event was organised by the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation during celebrations for Ethiopia’s National day at the Milano Expo 2015.

The Forum, which included a presentation on Ethiopia and the trade and investment opportunities that the country can offer to Italian companies, was attended by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, who headed a large delegation of officials and businessmen, and by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The Forum was opened by ICE president Riccardo Monti, who emphasised the Agency’s interest in the Ethiopian market.

He said: “Today Ethiopia represents one of our three main targets in Sub-Saharan Africa; we have recently opened an ICE office in Addis Ababa and we are ready to invest sizable resources to help our companies settle in this important market, also through the insurance and financial instruments made available by Italy’s SIMEST and SACE.”

At the end of the Forum, a large number of Italian companies were given the opportunity to meet with Ethiopian firms representing the country’s main economic sectors including infrastructures, the agro-food industry, the textile and leather industries, the pharmaceutical industry and the construction sector.