Press Advisories

28. 11. 2023 16:44

Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and Ethiopia held talks in Prague on strengthening economic and defence cooperation and development aid

Prime Minister Petr Fiala received his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed at the Straka Academy, 28 November 2023.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala received his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed at the Straka Academy, 28 November 2023.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala met with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed in Prague on Tuesday 28 November. The leaders followed up on their successful discussions in Addis Ababa at the beginning of November, during the Czech Prime Minister's working visit to sub-Saharan Africa. The main topics of the meeting included strengthening economic cooperation, especially in the areas of water management, healthcare, and mining industries, as well as defense cooperation and the development of developmental aid projects. The prime ministers agreed on the establishment of a Czech-Ethiopian Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation.

It was the first visit of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to the Czech Republic since the Velvet Revolution, which followed the successful meeting of the two leaders in Addis Ababa in early November. The Czech Prime Minister emphasised that these intensive relations demonstrate mutual interest in cooperation and a broad range of common topics.

Current collaboration between the Czech Republic and Ethiopia in the economic sector is actively ongoing in water management, healthcare, and the defense industry. An example of long-term cooperation are Czech hydrologists who have been active in the country since the 1970s and are expanding their activities with new tools and technologies, such as monitoring drones. "We would like to expand our good business relations. The opportunity for closer collaboration lies in mining and processing iron ore or in engineering – Ethiopia is interested, for example, in tractors from the Czech Republic; the prime minister will visit the Zetor company. Trade between the Czech Republic and Ethiopia has the potential for significant growth. That is why we have agreed to establish a Czech-Ethiopian Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation, which will help specify business projects," said Prime Minister Fiala.

Security and defence cooperation were also crucial topics of discussion. Ethiopia is a key country for regional stability. Czech companies are already involved in the renovation of aircraft at the Bishoftu airbase, including L-39 aircraft, a flight simulator, and the training of technicians. "Our cooperation is highly valued, and we would like to build on it in the future with the delivery of new L-39 NG aircraft or civilian L-410s. In this context, the Prime Minister also visited Aero Vodochody," added the Czech Prime Minister.

Africa is poised to become the region of the future, and Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing African economies with significant potential in various sectors. Czech companies have the experience and technology that could contribute to the development of the local economy. "Our goal is to seek business opportunities for Czech companies in countries where they have not been very active, expand the number of markets where our companies export, and help them open doors in these markets. We want to help our entrepreneurs secure new contracts that will lead to innovation, job creation, and thus the good economic condition of our country. Conversely, Ethiopia attracts investors from various fields, is interested in cooperation, and we want to take advantage of this offer," said the Czech Prime Minister.

Ethiopia is one of the six priority countries for Czech development cooperation, focusing mainly on rural development, healthcare, humanitarian aid and sustainable use of natural resources, especially water. The Czech Republic aims to continue its assistance and is currently preparing a proposal for a development cooperation programme for the period 2024–2030.

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