Relations between Turkey and Ethiopia
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ethiopia started in 1896 with the exchange of delegations during the rule of Sultan Abdülhamid II and Emperor Menelik II. Following the opening of the first Ottoman-Turkish Consulate General in Harar, in 1912, the first Embassy of the Republic of Turkey’s in Sub-Saharan Africa was opened in Addis Ababa, in 1926. The Ethiopian side opened its Embassy in Turkey in 1933. The Embassy of Ethiopia in Ankara was closed in 1984 during the Derg regime and was re-opened on 21 April 2006.
H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey paid his first official visit to Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa on 21-23 January 2015. H.E. Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, former President of Ethiopia, who was also the former Ethiopian Ambassador to Turkey, Ankara paid a state visit to Turkey on 6-10 February 2017 and attended second Turkey- Africa Economy and Business Forum on 10-11 October 2018.
The bilateral economic relations have been discussed at the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Meetings since 2000. The latest JEC meeting, which was co-chaired by H.E. Nihat Zeybekci, former Turkish Minister of Economy and H.E. Ahmed Abitew, former Ethiopian Minister of Industry was held on 28 November 2016 in Addis Ababa. The inauguration of Turkish Airlines’ direct flights to Addis Ababa as of April 2006; and Ethiopian Airlines’ direct flight to Istanbul as of April 2017 has a significant impact in boosting the trade relations between the two countries.
As of the end of 2018, the number of Turkish firms active in Ethiopia is around 200 and the total amount of investments by Turkish firms in Ethiopia is around 2,5 billion USD. Another significant indication of the developing relations between the two countries is the fast trade volume increase registered in recent years. Export from Turkey to Ethiopia was 321,073 million USD while imports from Ethiopia to Turkey was 34,441 million USD in 2018.
Main export items from Turkey to Ethiopia are metal and metal products, machines, mechanical and electrical devices and they're spare parts, plastics, chemical products, textile and ready-made clothes, food, visual equipment, musical instruments, clocks, measurement devices, medical and surgical equipment, vegetable oil, paper, stone, gypsum, cement, asbestos, mica, shoes, artificial flower, wood, and wooden products, mineral products, leather and leather products, bags, suitcases, gemstones, metals, imitation jewelry. Main import items from Ethiopia to Turkey are a vegetable (sesame, oil seeds) and animal products, leather and leather products, textile and ready-made clothes, paper, and plastic products.