Eritrea’s International Relations: Win-Win Cooperation

The Government of Eritrea through its Foreign Policy attaches strong importance to Foreign Direct Investment, Trade and partnership but not aid.
Win-Win Cooperation. The Government of Eritrea through its Foreign Policy attaches strong importance to Foreign Direct Investment, Trade and partnership but not aid.

By Kesete Ghebrehiwet,

In the past weeks alone, Eritrea has welcomed delegations from Finland, China, and Japan. Eritrea’s development cooperation areas include health, higher education, and agriculture. Eritrea’s view of international economic cooperation is based on partnership with an emphasis on respect for mutual values, dignity and sovereignty.Trade and investment rather than aid and dependence underline the country’s bilateral relations. 

As a result of this firm stance on mutual cooperation, Eritrea’s economic engagement and ties has grown exponentially since independence in 1991, particularly with countries that share these same values. According to Eritrea’s Permanent Mission to the African Union, as of 2014, Eritrea had 36 diplomatic missions abroad. By comparison, Kenya’s figure was 50, Uganda’s 31, Ethiopia’s 39, Tanzania’s 32, Sudan’s 64, and Djibouti’s 50.

However, considering the number of diplomatic missions in relation to the number of years since formal independence – an important factor in establishing diplomatic representation abroad – illustrates that Eritrea’s ratio is 1.7. By comparison, Kenya’s ratio of diplomatic missions abroad in relation to years since independence is 0.98, while Uganda’s is 0.6, Djibouti’s is 1.35, Sudan’s is 1.1, Tanzania’s is 0.6, and Ethiopia’s is 0.53. Quite simply, Eritrea establishes diplomatic missions abroad at a faster rate than its regional neighbors.

Maritime resources and deposit of minerals as well as strategic geographical location enables Eritrea to be a best candidate country for a viable investment. Eritrea is indeed a trade corridor between Africa and commercial centers of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Eritrea’s sound and stable economic policy, and particularly its responsive investment policy, makes it ideal for cautious investors interested in long-term returns on their investments.

Bilateral economic cooperation between Eritrea and Japan is an epitome of constructive engagement. Eritrea – Japan economic cooperation consultation was held recently in Asmara. Mr. Estifanos Afwerki, Eritrea’s Ambassador to Japan, said during the discussion session that agriculture, fisheries and marine resources, manufacturing, mineral resources, transportation, free zones, and other services are just a sample of investment sectors that may interest Japanese investors in Eritrea.

Ambassador Estifanos reiterated Eritrea’s interest in establishing development programs in areas of mutual interest with a special focus on strengthening Eritrea’s human resource capacity. The Japanese delegation also held discussions with President Isaias Afwerki and Dr. Ghergish Teklemichael, the Minister of National Development. The special delegation of the Japanese Prime Minister headed by Ambassador Norio Maryuama, discussed with various other Eritrean officials in an attempt to strengthen the ties between both countries.

As stated earlier, Eritrea is committed to form and reinforce bilateral relations that depend on healthy partnership cooperation with any country from around the world. The ongoing relationship of mutual cooperation with Japan, China, Finland and other countries particularly in education sector are indeed indications of the country’s constructive engagement.

It is to be recalled that Mr. Pekka Haavisto, special enjoy of the Finnish Ministry of foreign affairs have also visited Eritrea and signed an agreement to extend support in five projects of higher education.

Likewise, Chinese delegation headed by Mr. Liu Jie, Vice governor of Sichuan provincial people’s government held discussion with president Isaias as regards refining ties. In the meeting between the two parties President Isaias said that Eritrea and China have long standing bilateral ties and shared views with the delegation as regards the conductive climate that exists for Chinese companies to actively participate in major investment venture in the country.

Mr. Liu Jieon on his part said that Chinese companies are prepared to invest in physical infrastructure and particularly in mining, construction of dams and bridges as well as in agricultural projects.

The Government of Eritrea through its Foreign Policy attaches strong importance to Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, and partnership, not aid. Various agreements of cooperation Eritrea has been developing with different countries are in fact effective measures the country has taken to make a difference in the country’s economic growth particularly through human resource development. These are signs of unremitting efforts towards a better tomorrow.