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CIIE Stories: Ethiopian agricultural products soar in Chinese market through CIIE

SHANGHAI, June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Ethiopian coffee has been rapidly gaining traction in the Chinese market in recent years, with sales growing at a staggering rate of 27 percent annually.

Ethiopia's pavilion is seen at the CIIE.
Ethiopia’s pavilion is seen at the CIIE.

This rapid growth has been significantly boosted by platforms such as the China International Import Expo and cross-border e-commerce, which serve as effective gateways for overseas brands to enter China and present numerous opportunities for Ethiopian businesses.

One standout success story is the Ethiopian coffee brand Gera, which showcased roasted coffee beans at the third CIIE. During the expo, the brand’s Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees were signed up to a prominent cross-border e-commerce platform, immediately available for consumers.

During the fifth CIIE, Ethiopian highland coffee with vibrant orange packaging was drawing eyes. After being showcased in an e-commerce livestream during the expo, 17,000 boxes were sold in just one evening. Online sales of Ethiopian coffee surged 300 percent during the sixth CIIE.

Traditionally, Ethiopian coffee growers and processors only accounted for less than 10 percent of profits in the export trade, with the majority of profits lying in distribution and sales. Leveraging the CIIE for cross-border e-commerce sales has effectively reduced trade costs, benefiting Ethiopian coffee farmers and allowing Chinese consumers to enjoy premium coffee beans at more affordable prices.

Witnessing the growing popularity of Ethiopian coffee among Chinese consumers, Tefera Derbew Yimam, Ethiopian ambassador to China, expressed great delight. He noted that China has become one of the primary importers of Ethiopian coffee. Ethiopian coffees have received rave reviews at the CIIE over the years, prompting many businesses to showcase their products at the event. “The embassy will continue to facilitate Ethiopian business participation in the expo,” Yimam said.

Coffee trade is just one aspect of the trade relationship between China and Ethiopia. Products like sesame seeds and green beans from Ethiopia have also made their way to supermarkets, stores, and retail markets in China.

At the sixth edition of the expo, Ethiopian sesame trader Duka Engineering & Trading Plc reached a preliminary cooperation agreement with Shandong’s Ruifu Sesame Oil Co Ltd, which would purchase 6,000 metric tons of sesame seeds.

In October 2023, Ethiopia and China upgraded their bilateral relationship to an all-weather strategic partnership. In a joint statement, China expressed its desire to continue encouraging and supporting Ethiopian exports to China, including agricultural and food products.

With the Chinese market serving as a key driver of Ethiopian exports, Ethiopia’s distinctive offerings are expected to make a splash at this year’s expo, presenting vast business opportunities for its enterprises.

Contact: Ms. Cui Yan
Tel.: 0086-21-968888


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