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Japanese companies can benefit from investing in Ethiopia because of the country’s vast natural resources and agribusiness potential, the ambassador of the sub-Saharan nation said Thursday.

Abdirashid Dulane made the remarks during a visit to The Japan Times head office in Tokyo.

Dulane, who presented his credentials to Emperor Akihito on April 21, said he would like to promote people-to-people relations during his appointment to enhance the long and solid relations between the two countries in the area of culture as well as politics and business.

He said that some aspects of Japanese culture, including music and the tea ceremony, were similar to those of Ethiopia.

He added that Ethiopia’s trade relations with Japan are robust and increasing in volume year by year.

Japan is the second-largest importer of Ethiopian coffee and is close to becoming the first. He said he would like to see Japan buy more oil seeds, including sesame, directly from Ethiopia instead of through China.

Ethiopia is also cooperating with the private sector to promote tourism more, he said, adding that he hoped the number of Japanese tourists would increase.

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