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Ethiopian Airlines signs deal to revive Zambia’s national carrier

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Ethiopian Airlines said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement with the Zambian government to relaunch the southern African country’s national carrier, which was shut down more than two decades ago.

In a statement, Ethiopian Airlines said the Government of Zambia will be the majority shareholder with 55% and Ethiopian will have 45% stakes in the airline. It did not disclose how much it had paid for the stake.

Ethiopia’s state-owned flag carrier, ranked by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the largest airline in Africa by revenue and profit, is in talks with a number of airline companies across the continent to acquire stakes and manage operations.

‘’…in line with our Vision 2025 multiple hubs strategy in Africa, we are very happy that the discussions with the Zambian government have been crowned with success. The launching of Zambia Airways will enable the travelling public in Zambia and the Southern African region to enjoy greater connectivity options, thereby facilitating the flow of investment, trade and tourism, and contributing to the socio-economic growth of the country and the region,’‘ Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

State-owned Zambia Airways went into liquidation in 1994.

Ethiopian Airlines operates and manages Malawi Airlines through a deal signed in 2013.

It also has a deal with ASKY, a West African airline whose shareholders include the ECOWAS regional bloc of countries and a number of banks.

The airline’s revenue rose 10.3 percent to 54.5 billion birr ($2.43 billion) in the 2015/16 fiscal year, while passenger numbers climbed 18 percent to 7.6 million. Net profit was up 70 percent at 6 billion birr.

Ethiopian Airlines wants to increase revenue to $10 billion by 2025 and to expand its fleet to 140 aircraft from less than 90 now, with its sights set on Asia.

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Qatar to withdraw from OPEC come January 2019

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The Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has confirmed that Qatar is set to withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),



The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for a significant percentage of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, on Monday.

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Al-Kaabi stated their goal when speaking at a news conference in the capital Doha “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”

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Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries.

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Trump says China agree to mitigate tariffs on US cars after trade war ceasefire

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to cut tariffs below the 40 percent level currently in place on US-made vehicles after the two countries had talks in Argentina.



Trump confirmed the situation on his tweeter handle stating that: “China has agreed to mitigate and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%”.

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During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the US agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from US farmers.

If no broader deal is reached within 90 days, the US said it would hike tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that he was examining all available tools to raise US tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent level that China was charging on US-made vehicles.

A source reports that the Chinese state media on Monday cautiously welcomed the trade war truce on Monday, without mentioning the US January 1 deadline.

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Asian stock markets opened higher on Monday in the wake of the truce, with Tokyo rising by one percent and Hong Kong and Shanghai rising by more than two percent.

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