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Ethiopia Borrows €337 Mln from France

Ethiopia concluded a 337 million euro loan agreement with the government of France yesterday.

The government of France offered 70 million of the 337 million as a grant and the balance as a loan.

The money is intended to be used to finance the country’s five-year Growth and Transformation Plan, especially development programs in the energy, urban infrastructure, agriculture as well as water and sanitation sectors.

Source: Walta Information Centre

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Ethiopia Earns $2.4 Bln in Forex

Ethiopia has earned more than 2.4 billion dollars in foreign exchange over the last 11 months meeting 82 percent of the plan, the Ministry of Trade said while presenting this year’s performance report to the Trade Affairs Standing Committee of the House of Peoples' Representatives. 

Source: ERTA    

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Ethiopian Launches Flight to South Sudan

Resumes domestic, regional flights

Ethiopian Airlines announced yesterday that it had launched a new flight service to Malakal, South Sudan, effective as of 17 June 2011. Ethiopian will provide the new flight services four times a week.

The new flight service to the oil rich town of Malakal is Ethiopian’s second destination to the South Sudan and the 62nd international destination.

“The new flight services to Malakal provide the best connectivity and convenience for business people as well as the general public of the South Sudan,” Tewolde Gebre-Mariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Airlines announced Saturday that it had resumed all domestic flights to to Axum, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dire Dawa, Humera Jijiga Lalibela, Makelle and Shire and regional flights to Khartoum and Djibouti which had been temporarily suspended because of the volcanic ash cloud as of Monday, 15 June 2011.

The decision to resume flights was made based on meteorological forecasts which indicated that the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Eritrea had cleared. And the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority had confirmed that the northern Ethiopian airspace was now safe to fly according to Abebe Angessa, director of Ethiopian Domestic Market and Sales Service.

Ethiopian is making more than 60 domestic flights each week.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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Ethiopian to Resume Flights to Khartoum Today

The Ethiopian Airlines announced that it would restart flights to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, today after they were temporarily suspended as a result of ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Eritrea.

The ash cloud is expected to clear soon, allowing flights to destinations in eastern and northern Ethiopia to reopen, Ethiopian Airlines, sub-Saharan Africa's second-biggest carrier by passenger numbers, revealed in a statement.

The volcanic eruption which caused the temporary suspension of flights to destinations in northern Ethiopia occurred early Monday morning at Dubbi, 350 km north of Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Source: Bloomberg

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Leaders Start Negotiation for Free Trade Area

Ethiopia to be part of the free trade zone

African trade officials met this week in Johannesburg to launch negotiations for a free trade area (FTA) which would embrace more than 26 countries, and about a trillion dollars of economic output.

The proposed deal would unite three existing trade blocs in central, eastern and southern Africa. It is believed that the free trade area will do away with most trade barriers between participating countries. African leaders said that the Free Trade Area (FTA) would be practical within three years.

Two of the blocs, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC), have already been enjoying tariff- and quota-free trade.

In the mean time, the third bloc, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), only has levies on 15 percent of goods and should be removing those by January.

When the negotiations are concluded, the enlarged FTA would include Ethiopia, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, DRC, Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Commerce within Africa is limited with not more than 10 percent of the continent's trade being conducted between African countries, while the balance goes overseas.
After its formation is complete, the free trade area will be hopefully open to regions throughout the whole continent, Diouf of the African Agency for Trade and Development said.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, Reuters

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