De-brief was made on the trade missions to Sweden and Finland at the residence of the Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia in the presence of H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye, H.E. Ambassador Jan Sadek, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Helena Airaksinen, Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Mette Thygesen, Ambassador of Denmark to Ethiopia, representative from the Embassy of Norway in Ethiopia and members of the delegation in the trade missions, over a breakfast meeting held on October 28, 2016.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide a brief highlight on the two trade missions to the representatives of the different countries visited as well as representatives from the Danish and Norwegian Embassies.
H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye with Ambassador Jan Sadek of Sweden, Ambassador Helena Airaksinen of Finland, Ambassador Mette Thygesen of Denmark and Mrs. Nigest Haile of CAWEE
The breakfast meeting was opened by a welcoming remark of H.E. Ambassador Jan Sadek, where he thanked the First Lady and members of the delegation for being present at the debrief.
In his remark, the Ambassador highlighted the importance of the trade missions to gain a better understanding of the Swedish and Finnish markets as well as the overall Nordic markets and the importance of having all female delegation. He also thanked the organizers of the trade missions, Nigest Haile, the Embassy of Ethiopia in Sweden, Chamber Trade Sweden, SiCi, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Sweden & Finland, for their efforts in making the trade mission successful.
H.E. Ambassador Jan Sadek of Sweden giving his welcome remarks
Following the remarks of the Swedish Ambassador, remarks were made by H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye who complemented on the growing partnership with the Nordic countries, with a plan to organize trade mission to Denmark in 2017 to explore the potential market there. In her remarks H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye also commented on the great working environment created in empowering women in the Nordic countries, where Ethiopia and the rest of the world can learn from that. The First Lady also mentioned on her visit to the Finnish Cancer Society, the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the opportunity to create partnerships with all the Nordic countries in both the economic empowerment and health sectors.
H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye providing her remarks
H. E. Roman also mentioned the visit and meeting she had with the First Lady of Finland, where the two First ladies have agreed to strengthen their partnership and jointly work in the empowerment of women.
Highlights on the trade missions were given by Mrs. Nigest Haile, Founder and Executive Director of CAWEE. In her presentation, the Director mentioned the lessons learned from the trade missions and the outcomes achieved in signing partnership agreement and potential market connections that were established during the trade missions. In her remarks she also mentioned the successful opinion of reaching to an agreement made with Earth Aid Finland and Sisters in Charge International (SiCi) to establish Kaffa Shop Finland which will carry different products made in Ethiopia where plans are in place to open the first Kaffa Shop in Helsinki in April 2017.
As an outcome of the trade mission to Sweden, Mrs. Nigest mentioned a project document to be produced for a 3-5 year project on how support can be given directly to women entrepreneurs on how to engage with buyers in the Nordic markets to bring out tangible results from the interactions made between businesses in these countries.
Mrs. Nigest giving the briefing on the trade missions to Sweden and Finland
During the de-breif, remarks were made by some of the participants of the trade missions on their overall experiences. Ms. Solome Wasse of B Honey commented on the preference towards locally produced honey in both markets but also commented on the manufacturers of Styrofoam honey combs and packaging she was able to visit to further explore the possibilities of importing these components for her product. Ms. Dehab Mesfin of Diamond Enterprise Plc. (specialty coffee farm owner & manager) commented that she was satisfied with the market connections she was able to make and is looking forward to concrete deals expected to be made in the near future. Ms. Amelsa Yazew of Little Gabies, shared her experience on the discussions she had with potential buyers where using the market information she secured, she will now be working on her product to better suit the Nordic market.
Ms. Solome Wasse of B Honey, left, Ms. Dehab Mesfin of Diamond Enterprise Plc., middle & Ms. Amelsa Yazew of Little Gabies, right, sharing their experiences
H.E. Ambassador Helena Airaksinen, Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia shared that she was pleased with the outcomes of the trade mission that were shared and emphasized the importance of following up with the connections made during the trade missions. The Ambassador underlined that her Embassy will provide its continued support in this respect.
H.E. Ambassador Mette Thygeen, Ambassador of Denmark to Ethiopia commented on the potential of the growth in trade relationship between Ethiopia and Denmark and shared her observation of the potential for Ethiopian textiles/hand woven products (both fashion & home accessories) to be tailored for the tastes of the Danish and Nordic markets.
In closing the de-brief meeting, H.E. First Lady Roman Tesfaye underlined the importance of working on more preparations, taking the experiences gained from the trade missions in Sweden and Finland, towards contacting potential buyers before organizing a similar trade mission to Denmark next year. The First Lady noted that, companies need to be persistent to achieve the goals set on following the results of the trade missions so far achieved.
H.E. Ambassador Jan Sadek, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia also shared some of the comments that he received from Chamber Trade Sweden, on how future trade missions can better be organized and the potential in working with Ethiopian diaspora living in the Nordic countries, as they can serve as a good entry point for market connections.