The semi autonomous regional state of Puntland in North Eastern Somalia signed security and trade relations deal with Ethiopia.
The leaders of both sides laid foundation stone of new custom center in the border towns where the business activities between the sides will be regulated and allow free movement of goods and business people to and from the border.
The event was presided over by four Puntland ministers, officials from the Somali region of Ethiopia and businessmen.
Briefing the media after the ceremony a senior official of Puntland chamber of commerce and industry Jama’a Salad Dhagdheer described the deal as historic adding that it will be of much importance to both sides.
“ Puntland and Ethiopia share strong business relations, I hope the agreement signed will strengthen the ties and develop the business activities in the region” Mr. Dhagdheer said.
Puntland and Ethiopian have earlier signed similar agreements on security and the fight against Al-shabab which were seen as potential threat to the safety of Horn of Africa.
Ethiopia agreed to help Puntland in the fight against Al-shabab through sharing intelligence information so as to enhance security.
Puntland has a long border with East Ethiopia; a land-locked country that depends on its neighboring countries for any of its imported goods outside of the region.
Puntland companies have had strong ties with traders from East EthiopiaA good number of imported items at the Bosaso port usually were re-exported to East Ethiopia.
Lack of appropriate customs at the border has for long decreased the business relations between Puntland state and Ethiopia due to closed borders.