The Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) in partnership with the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, organized trade mission to Baku, Azerbaijan from May 1-5, 2017. The trade mission in Baku, Azerbaijan was led by H.E. Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE).
The Ethiopian women entrepreneurs delegation to Baku consisted of companies involved in garment and fashion, where three emerging young fashion designers were part of this delegation.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, the nation and former Soviet republic, is bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and South Eastern Europe. Its capital, Baku, is famed for its medieval walled Inner City. Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in 1991. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – per capita in Azerbaijan is $18,000.
The trade mission in Baku, Azerbaijan, started on May 1, 2017, through a visit to old town of Baku (the walled city).
Pictures of the walled city (old town of Baku)
The old town has preserved much of its 12th century defensive walls and it is one of the few surviving medieval towns in Azerbaijan. The characteristic features of a medieval town such as narrow streets, congested building and tiny courtyards, is seen in the inner walled city.
The delegation members visited Gilan Textile Park, in the town called Sumqayit which is the third largest city in Azerbaijan, 31 Km away from the capital Baku.
Gilan Textile Park is built in an area of 20 hectares, including light industry enterprises – weaving, dyeing and garment factories.
The delegation members also visited two other textile factories; one located in the town of Sumqayit; Inter Textile factory and the other in Baku City; Baki Textile Factory, as well as some department stores and show rooms in Baku city to explore potential market opportunities.
Business to Business (B2B) meeting was organized by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation. The B2B meeting took place between Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurs 5 (five) in number and Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs 16 (sixteen), during this meetings, owners and managers of the companies, representatives of companies and invited guest where present, the meetings took place, at Baku Business Center.
The Azerbaijan-Ethiopian Business Meeting started with a welcoming remark & a short overview on the investment climate and business opportunities in Azerbaijan by the Head of Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), Mr. Rufat Mammadov.
CAWEE’s representative, Tsedey Oljira, delivered brief company profiles of the Ethiopian delegation,
Group picture of Ethiopian and Azerbaijan women entrepreneurs
Following the bilateral meeting between Ethiopian and Azerbaijani companies, the Ethiopian women entrepreneurs presented their own sample products. In addition, each participant got the opportunity to talk one to one with Azerbaijan women entrepreneurs as well as with the invited guests.
Ethiopian delegation during the B2B meetings
The trade mission in Baku was concluded with a dinner hosted by H.E. Mr. Elman Abdullayev Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Ethiopia, in the presence of the first Lady of Ethiopia H. E. Roman Tesfaye. During the dinner, Ambassador Mr. Elman Abdullayev welcomed all participants and expressed his happiness in hosting the Ethiopian delegation. During this official dinner, CAWEE signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs Union, on May 4, 2017, where the first Lady of Ethiopia was a witness during the signing ceremony of the MoU.
H.E First Lady Roman Tesfaye, left, CAWEE representative Tsedey Oljira, middle, and Ms. Zenfira Agayeva, right, President of Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs Union during the signing of the MoU
After the official signing ceremony of the MoU between CAWEE and Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs Union, the First Lady of Ethiopia, Mrs. Roman Tesfaye underlined in her remarks, the key to success in building relationships that should go beyond one-time visit is now on the hands of the entrepreneurs, where she added to that, it is now the entrepreneurs turn to take the business relationship to the next level.
Ethiopian and Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs with H.E First Lady of Ethiopia Roman Tesfaye, and H.E. Ethiopian Ambassador to Turkey Ayalew Gobezie