The head of the Addis Ababa city provisional administration, Arkebe Equbay, and the deputy mayor of Beijing, Zhang Mao, have signed a cooperation agreement strengthening ties between the two cities, according to reports by the Ethiopian news ENA. Details of the accord have not been announced; however, the cities could work together in the areas of traffic management, infrastructure and urban administration among other things. During a meeting at his palace Ethiopian president Girma Wolde-Giorgis reportedly raised the problem of traffic congestion in Addis Ababa and invited Chinese companies to consider introducing trams into the city as an environmentally friendly solution.
China already has an active presence in Ethiopia particularly in construction and infrastructure. The Ethiopian authorities hope that the Asian giant will also increasingly help the country in other areas, such as the development of its hydro-electric power potential. Ethiopian exports to China have earned the country over 1.77 billion Birr (over $200 million) in the last nine months according to the Ethiopian customs authority. The main export commodities are oil seeds, hides, incense, coffee, vegetables, flowers, textiles, natural gum and minerals.