12 May 2017

The Straits Times

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean capped off a visit to Ethiopia yesterday, where he held meetings with key Ethiopian leaders and reaffirmed the warm relations between the two countries.

During the visit which started on Sunday, Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, called on Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement yesterday.

Mr Teo and Mr Desalegn welcomed the re-launch of direct flights by Ethiopian Airlines between Addis Ababa and Singapore next month, which is expected to boost business and people-to-people links between the two countries, the statement added.

They also welcomed the start of negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty and looked forward to the early ratification of the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement - both of which are aimed at helping to strengthen bilateral economic links.

Mr Desalegn invited Singapore companies to participate in Ethiopia's industrialisation programme and accepted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's invitation to visit Singapore, MFA said.

Mr Teo also held discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of Industry Ahmed Abitew, Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation Abreham Tekesete, and Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Arkebe Oqubay.

During the meetings, they discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, tourism and technical cooperation. The ministers also briefed Mr Teo on Ethiopia's economic development plans, the statement said.

Mr Teo also welcomed Mr Mekonnen's plans to visit Singapore this year.

Mr Teo during his trip also met representatives of Singapore companies and other key business leaders based in Ethiopia.

He also visited the northern city of Axum, where he was hosted by the Vice-President of the Tigray Region, Ambassador Adis Alem Balema, and other senior regional officials, MFA said.

Mr Teo, whose visit to Ethiopia ended yesterday, is next visiting South Africa where he will participate in the 20th meeting of the Total International Advisory Committee and meet Singaporeans based in Johannesburg.

His trip to South Africa will end on Sunday.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission