Ethiopia is set to open a factory to assemble Lada automobiles, the country's ambassador to Moscow has said
Ethiopia is planning to open a production line to assemble Russian Lada cars for the African market, the country's ambassador to Russia, Cham Ugala Uriat, told the TASS news agency on Tuesday.
The diplomat noted that the cars will be manufactured in Ethiopia and may be shipped onward to other African countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia.
"We will see Russian Lada cars in the neighboring countries in the near future as they [Avtovaz] have already signed a contract with an Ethiopian company," he explained. Lada, which remains the top-selling brand in Russia, makes a range of SUV models suitable for the African market.
The development comes as Ethiopia is set to join the BRICS group of emerging economies - which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - along with fellow newcomers Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The new memberships will take effect on January 1, 2024.
READ MORE: Major upturn in Russia's new car sales
Economists expect Ethiopia's entry into BRICS to boost its economic growth. The East African country boasts one of the fastest growing economies on the continent and has a burgeoning middle class.
Meanwhile, its low manufacturing cost base could help keep costs down for Russian carmakers while also providing access to the developing African market.
According to the envoy, other Russian automakers "are showing interest to go to Ethiopia for the construction of assembly lines." Two other Russian car manufacturers are currently in talks with Ethiopia about doing so, he revealed.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section