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Trade Link Established

UN Integrated Regional Information Network, 4 August 2001

A Sudanese embassy official in Addis Ababa has confirmed that Ethiopia has begun importing and exporting goods through Port Sudan, Reuters said on Wednesday. An agreement between the two countries has been concluded and goods have already started moving to Ethiopia via Port Sudan, Fada al-Rahman Ali, a counsellor at the embassy, told Reuters.

The official added that the highway linking the port with Gedaref (Al-Qadarif), 150 km from the border with Ethiopia, had been completed, and goods were being shuttled from there without any problem. The official also told Reuters that the Ethiopian Maritime and Transit Service Enterprise (MTSE), a state-run company which handles the bulk of Ethiopia’s foreign trade, was planning to build warehouses at Gedaref.

Last year, the Ethiopian roads authority announced it was embarking on general maintenance of the 185-km road from Gonder to the border crossing at Metema. Humanitarian sources told IRIN on Thursday that work to upgrade the road to an all-season standard, which included the construction of 10 bridges, was still in progress and was not expected to be completed until towards the end of the year. Similar work is also currently taking place to upgrade the gravel road between Gedaref and Gallabat on the Sudanese side of the border. Until the work on both sides was complete, the route from Gonder to Gedaref would remain impassable to heavy trucks in the rainy season, the sources said.