A Two-days “Pak-Ethiopia Pre-delegation Forum” will kick off in Sialkot from February 15 to boost the participation of business community from the industrial cities of Punjab in the business delegation flying to Addis Ababa on March 5-10 for exploring business, trade and investment opportunities in the land of origin. The decision to this effect was taken during a meeting between Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan H.E. Jemal Beker Abdula and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) and State Minister H.E. Romina Khurshid Alam here on Tuesday. During the meeting, the SAPM briefed H.E. Jemal Beker Abudla about the progress so far made on the pre-delegation forum saying “all the preparations have been done in this regard.” She said business fraternity from different industrial cities of Punjab would attend the pre-delegation forum to get firsthand information regarding the business, trade and investment opportunities in Ethiopia. Ambassador H.E. Jemal said invitation to the business community of Ethiopia had also been sent and it was likely that a delegation would also take part in the forum. He proposed to arrange sideline meetings among the business communities of both the countries at the forum which were crucial to boost the already flourishing ties between Ethiopia and Pakistan. The ambassador said there has been a huge potential of bilateral trade between the two counties. So far, the bilateral trade was minimal, but efforts in right direction would be instrumental to take it to the next level, he added. He said Ethiopia was a gateway to Africa and by entering the Ethiopian market, the Pakistani businessmen would have direct access to the entire continent. “We are striving to start direct flight operations from Ethiopia to Pakistan and vice versa as early as possible,” he said, adding the direct flights were a key to boost the bilateral trade between the two countries.”Ethiopia attaches great importance to Pakistan which is vital to our interest,” he underlined. The ambassador said a high-level delegation would soon arrive in Pakistan to officially inaugurate the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Islamabad. Multiple agreements in the fields of science and technology, aviation, trade and others would be signed during their official visit, he added.