South African companies keen to invest in Ethiopia
South African investors and representatives of companies have expressed their readiness to invest in Ethiopia and do business with.
A South African business delegation comprising 22 investors and representatives of companies are currently in Ethiopia to explore investment potentials and opportunities in the country, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, energy and construction sectors.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael met with the South African Business Delegation on Monday (March 6, 2017) and briefed them on investment prospects in Ethiopia.
Dr. Aklilu underscored that the delegation's current move will promote Ethiopia's aspiration to boost the intra Africa trade and enhance south-south cooperation.
He said, "Ethiopia attracts investors from China and Turkey as well as the US and Europe; nevertheless we would like to also promote south-south economic cooperation between African countries."
Touching upon the huge investment potentials in Ethiopia, the State Minister said, "Ethiopia's geographic location, its active membership in regional and bilateral trade agreements, including various other platforms with the U.S, EU and COMESA region, and the favorable investment policies make it an attractive investment destination."
Ethiopia's young and productive work force which accounts for 60 percent of the population also offers significant comparative advantages to investors, he added.
National Planning Commission has urged a German business delegation to invest in industrial parks and the energy sector.
Commissioner Yinager Dessie told a 15-person Bavarian business delegation headed by Ulrick K. Rieger that Ethiopia’s “big ambition is to transform the agriculture-led economy to an industry led”.
For this goal to be achieved, he added that the government has provided lots of incentives for companies which engage in the transformation of the sectors.
According to the commissioner, the government has an ambition to construct close to 12 industrial parks that mainly target to promote export.
Elaborating on this point, Yinager said foreign companies can build their own industrial parks or share industrial parks with others. German companies can play major role in this respect, he further stressed.
The government has been working hard to generate energy from hydro, geothermal, and solar sources for the last 10 years, it was indicated.
“In this regard we are working not only to meet our demand but also to supply other African countries with energy”, the commissioner said, adding that Ethiopia is at even this preliminary stage exporting energy to Sudan and Djibouti.
The German companies can engage in the energy sector which has huge potential mainly in solar, wind and hydropower, he noted.
The commissioner assured the delegation that the government is very much responsible about properties of investors. He emphasized that the country “has guarantees in all areas which really minimize risks of investors.”
Head of the German delegation, Rieger said “Ethiopia is a very good and big country and we will help that your vision comes true.”
“We see many possibilities to work together here”, he noted.
He stated that the companies will engage in areas that could create more jobs for the youth and create entrepreneurs.
A German and Bavarian business delegation headed by Ulrick K. Rieger, deputy head of the department of Internationalization, accompanied by delegates from Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology is visiting Ethiopia with the aim of assessing the potentials of the country.
The delegation was briefed about the business and investment potentials as well as incentives put in place to luring more companies.
Fitsum Arega, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission briefed the delegation stating that, “Ethiopia, with the fastest growing economy, untapped natural resources and a population of almost 100 million and good access to lucrative domestic and external markets is a desirable investment destination.”
The availability of labor force with minimum wage, vast arable land, livestock and mineral resources are few among the country`s endowments, the Commissioner added.
The business delegation is expected to visit industrial parks the country has been developed as part of the strategy to attract more industries as well as textile and garment, leather, agro processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals and metal engineering industries, among others.
Regassa Kefale, State Minister of Foreign Affairs on his part said that the nation is engaged in development of infrastructure so as to facilitate the situation for structural transformation.
“We have set-out important strategic goals that geared towards structural transformation in the economy focusing on industrialization. Light manufacturing industries will play a key role in this regard. This is a country with a huge comparative advantage on the development of massive agriculture resources cheap and trainable labor,” he added.
Exemption from customs duties and two to ten years of exemption from income tax for investments on priority areas are some of the incentives.
Investors also enjoy the preferential trade opportunities with the US and EU, he added.
Ulrich K. Rieger head of the delegation said, “Now the members of this delegation are 20, but I think next time it will be more. In Bavaria 130 companies are interested to do business in Ethiopia.’’
The main reason they chose Ethiopia as a preferable investment destination is because of potential investment opportunities in energy, waste management and installations of power plants, he added.
Evidences shows that, over 144 German based companies have been set up in Ethiopia, of which 77 have already embarked on investment undertakings amounting to 150 million USD, while the rest are on pre-implementation stage.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn urged the globally respected and widely recognized fertilizer company Yara International to invest in Ethiopia.
The premier held talks with CEO of Yara International, Svein Tore Holsether, on the possibility for Yara to engage in areas of investment the Norwegian company has been working.
During the discussion, Hailemariam said Yara International Company will get better benefits if it invests in the production of fertilizer.
The prime minister assured the CEO that his country is ready to provide all the necessary support for the company to facilitate its investments in Ethiopia.
He further informed Holsether about the raw material it could obtain from the potash reserve in Afar Regional State.
CEO Holsether said on his part his company is looking potentially for very large potash mining project in Afar region in Ethiopia.
“We had very good discussion with the Prime Minister about the project; and we found out that to be a very productive meeting and a very responsive prime minister”, he added.
Yara has organizations in 50 countries and sales products to more than 150 countries.
Ethiopia and Cuba have signed an agreement providing for increased scientific cooperation, according to Cuban News Agency.
Cuban Science, Technology and Environment Minister Elba Rosa Perez and Ethiopia´s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Reggassa Kefale signed the five-year-term document.
The accord allows the two nations to organize the exchange by Cuban and Ethiopian academics and industrial specialists to develop projects and initiatives in their respective fields.
The agreement also stipulates scientific exchange and the strengthening of links in biotechnology, sugar technology, the pharmaceutical industry and the fight against cancer.
The Command Post set up to oversee the implementation of the nationwide state of emergency has reported successes and some shortfalls observed in the so far implementation of the ruling.
Secretariat of the Command Post and Minister of Defense Siraj Fegessa today confirmed that activities by the Command Post helped reverse the imminent danger posed on the safety of the public as well as the peace and stability nationwide.
The Secretariat updated members of the local media on the latest developments of the state of emergency.
Siraj indicated that the unprecedented magnitude of the riot forced the government to decree an emergency law that proved successful in halting the danger posed by what he called anti-pace elements working with outside forces.
''Since its establishment, the Command Post has executed many tasks that enabled it to contain the damage posed by the recent unrest and ensure peace and stability in the country's four corners. The post also brings individuals who took part in the unrest to justice and breaks the chain they have created with outside sources," he stated.
According to the Secretariat, activities by the Command Post resulted in significant changes by neutralizing further threats posed on the lives of people and the enormous damage caused on private and public properties.
The Post has also been successful in controlling the damage targeted on infrastructures and other economic pillars of the country, Siraj added.
Among the successes mentioned was bringing individuals involved in the riot to justice.
''So far, over 400 individuals involved in the recent unrest gave themselves in by utilizing the 10 day ultimatum set by the Command Post," Siraj said.
He further noted that the Command Post plays a crucial role in normalizing the public's daily life, returning looted properties to rightful owners and assisting riot-affected factories to resume operation.
It was indicated that the active participation of the public in exposing wrong doers and their cooperation with law enforcement bodies at various levels has been a primary factor for the success.
Jointly with the public, the government is ready to take corrective measures on some law enforcing staff who abuse power while implementing the ruling, the secretariat added.