PARMAforEXPO: the Minister of Industry of Ethiopia visits our city


The institutional meeting has been organized in collaboration with UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Also the representatives of top Ethiopian food & beverage companies took part in the event. The focus of the meeting held at the premises of UPI – Parma’s Union of Industrialists – was on trade relations between Parma and the East African country.

Parma, September 19 2015 – After Oman, today Parma and the PARMAforEXPO working group welcomed Ethiopia, the country of which EXPO will celebrate the National Day on September 22. The meeting was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the ‘Parma System’ with UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and brought to Parma a top institutional delegation coming from East Africa led by the State Minister of Industry HE Dr. Mebrahtu Meles Gebru, accompanied by the representatives of some Ethiopian companies specializing in the food and beverage industry.

The second-most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa, with 96.5 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is an economy which underwent major transformation: in the last 15 years, thanks to the orderly management of the Government, GDP’s growth rates are among the highest in the world (8.8% between 2000 and 2014). The development has positively affected all sectors, from agriculture to manufacturing, and services. The positive trend is expected to continue: the government, in fact, is about to launch the Growth and Transformation Plan, an investment plan for the country’s growth in the period 2015-2020. The goal is to turn Ethiopia into a middle income economy by 2025.

Current trade relations between Italy and Ethiopia are excellent : we are Ethiopia’s first goods and services supplier in Europe (and the fifth largest supplier in the world) with total exports accounting for 320 million euros. In particular, Italian exports to Ethiopia mainly consists in machinery and industrial equipment (45%) and vehicles (17%). Imports from Ethiopia instead mainly consist in food products accounting for over 61% of total imports: coffee, oil seeds and other products from permanent crops.

After a visit to one of the plants of the Rodolfi Group, which can boast over 110 years of experience and is hence one among the oldest and excellent companies specializing in the processing of tomato and its derivatives, such as tomato paste, crushed tomato, passata, sauces, and dried tomato powder, the Ethiopian Minister of Industry, together with the other business delegates, was received by the representatives of the ‘Parma System’ at Palazzo Soragna, the premises of UPI, Parma’s Union of Industrialists. The PARMAforEXPO stakeholders welcoming them were Cesare Azzali, Director of UPI and CEO of PARMAforEXPO; Leonardo Cassinelli, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma; prof. Erasmo Neviani, Delegate of the University of Parma for EXPO Milan 2015.

The meeting at Palazzo Soragna was an unparalleled opportunity to deeply explore possible business relationships between Parma and Ethiopia: in 2014 made-in-Parma goods and services exports toward the African country increased by 15% thus reaching a total value of 9.2 million Euros. A positive trend which was also confirmed by the data of the first half of 2015: an increase of 80% over the same period in 2014. Almost all local companies exporting to Ethiopia (87%) export mechanical engineering and plants.


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