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UPDATED: 17:21, August 30, 2004
Sino-Ethiopian cooperation will further be consolidated: Chinese ambassador
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The outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Ai Ping has expressed his conviction that the existing sound development of bilateral relations between China and Ethiopia would gain momentum in the future with mutual interest and strong political commitment from both sides.

In a recent interview with the Ethiopian Herald newspaper, Ambassador Ai Ping said through years of exploration, China and Ethiopia have now worked out an effective and sustainable approach for mutually beneficial cooperation in the economic, political and social sectors.

"I am quite optimistic that the Ethiopian government and its people will make the best use of foreign experience including that of China, while giving due consideration to their national conditions," said the ambassador who completed a three and half year tenure in Ethiopia.

China has been supporting Ethiopia's capacity building efforts in a wide range of areas, he said, adding that Chinese companies have been engaged in infrastructure development in Ethiopia on an unprecedented scale particularly in road construction, hydroelectricity and telecommunication.

"Chinese entrepreneurs have already started carrying out pilot investment in Ethiopia, and I believe that more will be coming with the ever-improving investment environment in the country," he said.

The ambassador also lauded the intensified efforts made by the Ethiopian government in capacity building, infrastructure development and good governance, among others, in which he said remarkable results have been registered.

Ethiopia, among all African countries, has been playing a leading role in the enhancement of China-Africa relations, he said, and cited the successful convening of the second Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Addis Ababa last year as a good indication in this regard.

With the acceleration of globalization, both China and Ethiopia need to properly utilize opportunities and successfully meet challenges to realize sustainable economic and social development, Ai Ping indicated.

The ambassador also expressed his belief that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's intended visit to China soon would give fresh impetus to the deepening and further development of Sino-Ethiopian bilateral relations.

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