Ethiopia was the only nation in Africa to have never been colonized by a European country. However, in 1935, Italian troops invaded Ethiopia. This was known as the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. At the League of Nations, Mexico was one of only five member-states to condemn the Italian invasion and occupation of Ethiopia. Because of this, Ethiopia kept its seat in the assembly, and it remained a member. A few years after World War II, diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Mexico were established in 1949. In 1954, Emperor Haile Selassie became the first-ever African head of state to pay an official visit to Mexico.
To commemorate Mexico's assistance to Ethiopia during its occupation by Italy; Ethiopia named a center square in Addis Ababa "Mexico Square". In 2010, the Mexican government donated a replica of an Olmec colossal head to Ethiopia where it was placed in Mexico Square. In September 2015, the Ethiopian capital inaugurated it's a Light Rail system and has a "Mexico Station". On the 22nd of June 1954, a traffic circle in Mexico City was named "Plaza Etiopía", under which in August 1980, a metro station in Mexico City was built and named Metro Ethiopia.
In July 2010, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrived in Cancun to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In June 2012, Prime Minister Zenawi again visited Mexico to participate in the G-20 summit held in Los Cabos. In 2019, both nations marked 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations. In 2019, Ethiopian Airlines launched cargo services between both nations.
High-level visits from Ethiopia to Mexico
Ø Emperor Haile Selassie (1954)
High-level visits from Mexico to Ethiopia
Ø Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa (2010)
Ø Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Julián Ventura (2019)
Ethiopia and Mexico have signed the following bilateral agreements: Agreement to Establish Consultations on Mutual Interests (2006) and an Agreement on the Elimination of Visa Requirements for Diplomatic Passport Holders (2006).
In 2018, two-way trade between Ethiopia and Mexico amounted to US$8.6 million. Mexico's main exports to Ethiopia include landing gears and electronic equipment. Ethiopia's main exports to Mexico include sesame seeds and industrial equipment to make shoes.