Somaliland: Landlocked Ethiopia Imports First Cargo through Port of Somaliland
Landlocked Ethiopia imported its first cargo of electrical goods through the Red Sea port of Berbera on Tuesday in the breakaway republic of Somaliland, inaugurating an earlier deal, government officials said.
Somaliland and Ethiopia signed a bilateral agreement in August 2003 to improve road links and establish customs and posts. A deal that went into effect on July 1, 2005 allowed Ethiopia to use the port in northwestern Somalia.
Trade between the two countries is mostly limited to the stimulant leaf qat, fruit and vegetables exported by Ethiopia and foodstuffs and other commodities exported by Somaliland.
"Ethiopia as a landlocked country gives consideration to all ports in the region," said Alemahayu Gebre Sellasie, leader of the Ethiopian delegation. "Ethiopia is very happy to use the port for its business."
Somaliland officials said the deal would help create jobs and encourage free trade, which they said was paramount to economic development in the enclave, which is not recognized internationally.
Port officials said three more ships carrying thousands of tons of goods destined for Ethiopia are expected to dock before the end of the month.
Somaliland, a former British protectorate, broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has been a relatively stable enclave. It held its first party-based parliamentary elections in September after free local elections in 2002 and a presidential poll in 2003.
Source: EiTB 24