1. Diplomatic relations was established in 1952. Еthiopia has been for many years one of the major partners of Yugoslavia-Serbia, in Africa. Bilateral relations are traditionally good and friendly, based on common historical heritage and Orthodox religion. Ethiopia closed the Embassy in Belgrade in 1992, and the Embassy in Rome is accredited for Serbia too.
Embassy of Serbia in Addis Ababa is covering also bilateral relations with Tanzania, Seychelles, Comoros, Djibouti, Madagascar and Somalia. Serbia on January 3 2012 established diplomatic relations with South Sudan (decision of the Government of Serbia in August 2011). Embassy in Addis Ababa is, from 2012, covering the bilateral relations with this country too.
2. Political relations. Ethiopia is the leading country in the Region of Horn of Africa, with Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is the chairman of the AU in 2013. as well as the chairman for several consecutive years of the Regional block of Eastern Africa IGAD.
Relations between the two countries are characterized by a trend of improvment. Political relations improved by a series of important international meetings. During the AU Summit in 2008, the President of Serbia Mr. B. Tadic had a meeting with late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles. Presidents of the parliaments of the two countries met at the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary union in April 2009 in Addis Ababa. Important was also the visit of Minister of Agriculture of Serbia to Ethiopia in May, 2010.
The Ethiopian delegation participated at the Ministerial Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement - NAM in Belgrade in September 2011, on the occasion of the celebration of the 50 Anniversary of NAM and the first International Conference of the Movement. On that occasion, further improvement of bilateral relations, cooperation in various domains, learning about the work of the Diplomatic Academy of Serbia and other issues have been discussed on the sidelines of the meeting. Holding of the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation has been initiated too. In the framework of the educational cooperation, the participation of Ethiopian students in the Program "World in Serbia", have been underlined. Serbia has established special Fund for scholarships to students from Non-Aligned Movement member countries. So far, there are 6 (six) Ethiopian students, 5 from the Seychelles and students from South Sudan and Madagascar are expected to join the following school year at Belgrade University.
Significant progress in political relations also has been made, after Serbia`s regular participation at the AU summits on foreign minister level. Bilateral meetings between the foreign ministers enabled the improvement of political relations and expressed willingness to promote bilateral economic cooperation.
BILATERAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION
3. Foreign trade. After а period of slowdown in economic relations, there is a resurgence of economic cooperation, which began during the 2009 and 2010, continuing in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, foreign trade with Ethiopia was 10,029 million US dollars, of which our export reached approximately 9,586 million and import from Ethiopia to Serbia was 443,000 US dollars. The composition of our exports contains mainly tractors, cash registers, wheat and different agricultural machinery, while import from Ethiopia was mainly agricultural product like coffee, oil seeds and spices.
4. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Chamber of Commerce of Ethiopia. National Chambers of Commerce of the two countries, due to the considerable potential for enhancing economic cooperation, particularly export of know-how, equipment and technology from Serbia, exchanged and agreed upon the text of the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed during the first visit.
5. Cooperation contracts with Ethiopia. Serbia has possibility to export know-how and technology to Ethiopia. This includes long-term industrial cooperation contracts, which would employ Serbian production facilities, currently operating at reduced capacity (IMR, IMT). The most successful business with Ethiopia is export of IMR tractors (assembled in factory in Nazaret). Cooperation between Serbian metal companies is realized through Ethiopian company METEK. Following the successful implementation of export of first 1000 tractors to Ethiopia during 2011 and 2012, there has been a new contract concluded for the export of IMR tractors in 2013.
The company Agrostemin from Belgrade established cooperation with leading agricultural companies in Ethiopia (MIDROC group, AGRICEFT and Karituri). Memorandum of Understanding has been signed, including testing of Agrostemin product on farms of corn, wheat, sugar cane, rice, maize and vegetables, which obtained extraordinary results in increasing the quantity of production by 30-40%.
Company HPC, Krusevac is cooperating with HAROM Computers and MIDROC from Ethiopia. Company HPC exports cash registers already three years to the Ethiopian market. Given that the Serbian company compiled data transfer system of tax payment through a modem, it is possible also to establish cooperation with other African countries. The company HPC managed in 2012, to open access to the market of Tanzania. After organizing the visit of the delegation of the State Tax Administration of Tanzania to the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration of Serbia, the company has been registered for export of cash registers to Tanzania (concluding the contract with company Bolstrom). HPC also started the first contacts with partners in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
6. African Union. Headquarters of African Union (AU) is situated in Addis Ababa, where the regular annual meetings are held every January of the current year. Summer Summits are hosted by AU member countries, taking into consideration equal regional representation (as well as Francophone and Anglophone countries). Ethiopia is the actual chairperson of the AU in 2013.
7. Cooperation of Serbia with AU. After obtaining the status of observer in the AU and the regular participation at AU Summits on Minister of Foreign Affairs level, significant improvement of the cooperation between Serbia and AU followed. During the regular AU Summit from 24.-26.01.2012, Serbian delegation participated at the meeting of the Executive Council of AU (foreign ministers level). At the AU summer Summit in Addis Ababa, 12-14.07.2012, Serbian delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs I. Mrkić. In adition to the meetings with senior representatives of the AU Commission, he realized number of meetings with the foreign ministers of the AU member states, including Ethiopia as a host country.
8. Cooperation in 2013. At the regular AU Summit in January 2013, Serbian participation was on the level of Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for bilateral cooperation. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the OAU (Organization of African Unity), Jubilee Summit was held in Addis Ababa, 25th May 2013. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of the Republic of Serbia, headed Serbian delegation. He also met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegn. This visit also represented a first bilateral visit to Ethiopia at the level of head of state, after a long period.