Current Bilateral Relations between Bangladesh and Ethiopia

Bangladesh and Ethiopia have been two prominent members of the LDC blocks and maintain cordial relations. Although there are historic ties between the ancient Abyssinia and Bengal, in modern times, the relationship has barely grown beyond traditional cooperation in the common forums. However, as Bangladeshi investment has been flowing into Ethiopia in the recent years, the relation becomes stronger and Bangladesh, as an FDI bringing nation to Ethiopia, is being pronounced in Ethiopia with respect and interest. The establishment of the resident diplomatic mission in Addis Ababa on 01 March 2016 has been an important milestone in realizing the potential of a strong bilateral relation between two of the fastest burgeoning economies in the world.


While Bangladesh has established a resident diplomatic mission in Ethiopia, Ethiopia is yet to reciprocate the similar approach. Currently, the resident mission of Ethiopia in New Delhi is concurrently accredited to Bangladesh and an Honorary Consul for Ethiopia is active in Dhaka. Bangladeshis generally send the documents for visa processing to either to the Ethiopian Mission in New Delhi or the Ethiopian Consulate General in Mumbai. There is still no formal visa waiver or facilitation (e.g. visa on arrival) agreement between the two countries. However, the Mission through close cooperation with the Ethiopian Government facilitated visa on-arrival upon request on case-by-case basis. In 2018, Ethiopian Government introduced E-visa which is open for Bangladeshi nationals. Visa fee is waived off for Diplomatic and official/service passport holders by the visa issuing authorities of either country.

The two countries have a similar standing on most of the international issues. Ethiopia has a long history of exalted presence in the diplomatic arena like League of Nations and later the United Nations (being one of the founding members). Also. It hosts a large number of resident diplomatic Missions which is incomparable to any country in Africa. Ethiopia due to its traditional standing often remains neutral and plays the role of interlocutor in regional and international contested issues. Bangladesh although a relatively new member of international diplomacy, has been playing almost in the similar fashion in regional and international issues. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the formation of the Constitution, has set the principles for Bangladesh foreign policy – ‘Friendship to all, malice to none’ and in his address in January 1972 in Kolkata just after independence called out to all South Asian and neighbouring countries for strengthening regional cooperation. Bangladesh has been following the doctrine and earned a reputable place in the international community. The two countries have been members of UN, G-77, NAM and South-South Cooperation and have been cooperating closely in these forums.