Ethiopia- Kuwait relations
Formal diplomatic relations only started between Ethiopia and Kuwait in 1967, but the people of both nations have known each other for many years. Historical and cultural relations between the two served as a spring board for relations to improve at various times. Indeed, both countries share the same traditional and cultural values that still prevail in both Ethiopia and Kuwait. Respective embassies, in fact, were only opened in 1997, underlining the fact that the blossoming of relations only came after the downfall of the military regime of the Derg, and after the EPRDFs coming to power. A series of high level visits, by Prime Minister Meles, former Foreign Minister Seyoum and other officials from Ethiopia, and by Sheikh Nasser, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohamed, and others from Kuwait, have taken place at various times. Among other things, the exchange of visits has resulted in signing of a number of different agreements and the establishment of a Joint Ministerial Commission to provide for a follow-up mechanism, for implementation of agreements.
Economic relations between the two sisterly countries have been gaining momentum recently. Ethiopia and Kuwait have, of course, been trading with each other long before any trade agreements were signed. Before 1997 the balance of trade was in favor of Ethiopia. These days, however, the volume of trade amounting to over 41 million birr is in favor of Kuwait. The amount, however, is not up to the expectations of either country. There are ample opportunities for very considerable improvement in business links between Ethiopia and Kuwait, provided we work together on the principles of comparative advantage for each others benefit. The products of both countries are not competitive but rather supplement each other; and our proximity should be another factor encouraging improved trade relations.
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