Economic diplomacy of Ethiopia is at the heart of its Foreign Relations and National Security Policy.


Ethiopia has given top priority to the kernel of the entire Diplomacy; Economic Diplomacy, as a nation has one formidable enemy; poverty and backwardness. To effectively combat and eradicate poverty one has to pursue economic diplomacy which would enable it to attract more investment, trade and tourism. Economic policies adopted by the government in the last two decades have played a vital role in developing the country`s economy. Ethiopia has become one of the ten fastest growing countries in the world. Its past tarnished image of poverty, backwardness and war is being gradually reversed. The major economic diplomacy framework aims at attracting investment from foreign countries, promoting massive Foreign Direct Investment and ensuring proper technology transfer among other things.


In this respect, it is clear to see that the nation’s foreign relations and national security policy and strategy can only have relevance if it’s diplomacy contributes to the fight against poverty and promotes speedy economic development, democracy and peace. The foreign policy and strategy its main objectives revolve around economy and creating an enabling condition so that the people, step by step, benefit from rapid economic growth and democratization. In order to bring about, the policy and strategy bases itself on the internal challenges and vulnerability. Ethiopia’s foreign policy direction is inward looking and tackling first of all its internal vulnerability and addressing the issues of economic backwardness and poverty.


The most important strategy of the Country`s economic Transformation and the list of priorities are creating market opportunities, investment and tourist attractions and technical and financial support for the national economic development and democratization. The Government clearly identified the goals, strategies and priorities of the economic diplomacy efforts of the country. Based on this and other pertinent policy documents of the country, the Ministry has prepared a five-year Strategic Plan. The outcomes of the Strategic Plan underscored the role and contribution of economic diplomacy to the successful realization of the development goals of the country and have thereby identified specific economic diplomacy activities that should be carried out in foreign relation abroad.


In this regard, the main focus is on providing the basic tools of conducting trade promotion activities; it nevertheless covers the general foreign trade context in which the promotion services are to be provided. Ethiopia’s economic diplomacy policy is mainly directed at

Promoting its economic interest abroad by focusing on:

  • Attracting direct foreign investment to the country using different communication methods.

  •  Lobbying for facilitating the expansion of the market horizons of the nation’s export products globally.

  •  Luring as many foreign tourists as possible to visit the country

  •  Soliciting development assistance consisting of financial and technical support through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. :-

The economic diplomacy policy and strategy focuses on attracting labor intensive rather than capital intensive investments capable of absorbing as much human resources as possible. Foreign investments, which use agricultural resources as raw materials, process and produce industrial products by adding value on the resources, are being given prime attention.


In the industrial development sector, the economic diplomacy’s direction will be giving more emphasis to luring foreign investments that can use as many local labor as possible and domestic resources and produce products destined for export purposes, and are instrumental in technology and knowledge transfer rather than high-tech and capital intensive industrial investments.


Encouraging those foreign investors, who will invest in agro-processing industries consisting of textile and garment, leather, cement, fertilizer, drug and other chemical factories, will be the priority areas of the economic diplomacy in the years ahead. Recruiting foreign potential investors to invest in the textile, leather and agricultural products manufacturing industries in particular will be the focus of our mission. Attracting and supporting such potential foreign investors, who believe in mutual benefits through the provision of incentives and other kinds of support is the direction of the economic diplomacy of the country.


                                                                Foreign Trade:-

Expanding the country’s market horizons globally for the nation’s export products by further consolidating existing bilateral business ties in which the country has and searching new market outlets in every corner of the world and establishing market links with more countries is the other focus area of the economic diplomacy. Moreover, Ethiopia’s foreign trade policy has three general objectives:

  • developing and ensuring a broad international market for the country's agricultural products, in particular,
  •  generating sufficient foreign exchange which is essential for importing capital goods, intermediate inputs and other goods and services that are necessary for the growth and development of the economy; and

  • Improving the efficiency and international competitiveness of domestic producers through participation in the international market. 

  • The export promotion strategy of Ethiopia is upheld by three main pillars:

  • focusing on limited number of priority exportable products

  • focusing on providing an all-round support to exporters, and

  •  Executing export promotion activities in a well-organized manne                                                           



Ethiopia is endowed with rich tourism resources consisting of precious ancient rock-hewn churches, obelisks, Mosques and tantalizing and spectacular tourist attraction sites. It is also the cradle of humankind where worlds’ oldest human skeletons like the famous Lucy is discovered.

Thus, the economic diplomacy will also focus on promoting and luring as many foreign tourists as possible to the country as part of the massive effort well underway to make Ethiopia one of the top tourist destinations in the African continent.