Veronafiere takes Italian
agro-business companies to the Agrifex Trade Fair in Addis Ababa
As a gateway to promising markets in East Africa, Ethiopia confirms its status as an important location in the process of internationalization of agriculture and animal farming companies.
For the first time, a number of Italian companies operating in the poultry and energy sectors are taking part - thanks to coordination by Veronafiere, in the 9th Agrifex - Specialized International Agriculture and Food Exhibition scheduled from today until 16 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In just a single generation, Ethiopia has transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to the 12th fastest growing global economy (World Bank data). For the next three years, average annual GDP is expected to increase by 7%. Ethiopia is a stable and safe country, second in Africa in terms of population with more than 90 million inhabitants, home to international bodies including the African Union, has excellent energy resources and highly developed infrastructures.
This is why the Verona Exhibition Centre, in collaboration with ICE Addis Ababa, has signed a partnership agreement with the organizer of Agrifex: the Addis Ababa Chamber Commerce representing 80% of companies in the country. The event this year will see attendance by 80 companies from six countries.
The new five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for 2016-2020 focuses on agriculture as the driving force behind the Ethiopian economy, in that it ensures 80% of employment and 70% of the value of exports.
In an effort to overcome structural deficiencies in the sector – particularly the lack of mechanization – the Ethiopian Government is implementing a number of initiatives in order to attract and involve foreign investors.
A business commercial focus on Africa was at the heart of the last edition of Fieragricola held in Verona last February, which saw official delegations visiting from Egypt, Mozambique, Angola, Cameroon, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia.
This attention was then translated into a decision to accompany Italian companies in the primary sector to the Agrifex Show, brought together in the Fieragricola Pavilion, in order to discover the opportunities offered by the Ethiopian market that could benefit from Italian expertise and quality products, especially machinery.
Italy already today is Ethiopia’s 9th customer and 5th supplier on a global scale; the 2nd trading partner, 1st supplier and 3rd customer on a European scale. 45% of Italian exports involves equipment and technology, especially in agro-food and textile sectors.
Construction is another developing value chain. This sector Fund has grown over the past two years by more than 30% and an average annual growth of 11.6% is estimated for the future. And this is why Veronafiere will present another new initiative – Building East Africa scheduled in Addis Ababa next 31 August - 1 September dedicated to construction companies.