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.
US President Barack Obama has praised Ethiopia's role in hosting and supporting refugees as well as efforts to improve their condition.
Speaking in a panel organized at the sidelines of the 71th UN General Assembly meeting being held in New York, President Obama said the role Ethiopia is playing in sheltering refugees and helping them access to humanitarian assistance is exemplary to others.
Noting that Germany, Turkey, Pakistan, Canada and Sweden have also playing important role, Obama urged other countries to share these practices so as to address challenges refugees have been facing.
At the panel Ethiopia, Canada, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and Sweden share their experiences in sheltering large number of refugees and activities to improve their conditions.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgen said that Ethiopia will continue to provide shelter to refugees and activities to improve their condition.
The government is providing the chance for refugees to get access to education and engage in income generating activities including agriculture, Hailemariam said.
The government is facilitating conditions to make refugees access to 30 percent of job opportunities to be created in various industrial parks, as part of improving their condition, he added.
Currently 65 million people, roughly 1 percent of world's total population, displaced worldwide.
Ethiopia has been sheltering more than 800,000 refugees.
World leaders are discussing ways of tackling the growing global migration crisis, the biggest migration crisis in which the number of displaced people surpassed those of World War Two, at the 71st UN General Assembly being underway in New York.
Globeleq, developer, owner and operator of electricity generation, has expressed its desire to invest in Ethiopia.
Following discussions with Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, Head of Business Development, East Africa at the Globeleq told reporters that the Company is interested to invest in the power generation particularly in renewable energy.
The company is desirous to bring the expertise and resources to Ethiopia to realize this. “We will like to bring our international expertise and resources to invest in building more power plants,” Wright said,
“We are the largest power producers in Africa for private generation; we want to bring what we done in Kenya and Tanzania to bring that to Ethiopia.”
The country’s potential for a renewable energy and the ever increasing demand for power created by the fastest economic growth is attracting companies to engage in the country.
During his meeting with the Minister, the Head discussed on ways of encourage Globeleq Company to invest in power sector in the country, it was indicated.
During the discussion, the Minister affirmed that companies are encouraged to engage in the power sector.
The Minister assured that the government will provide the necessary support to Globeleq and other companies interested to engage here in the power sector.
Founded in 2002, Globeleq has around 2,500 mw of power projects in development and plans to add significant mw of power generation during the next 10 years.
Ethiopian Diasporas living in Ottawa, Canada, have contributed 14,500 Canadian dollars to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The money was collected at a fund raising event organized in connection with the Ethiopian New Year.
During the occasion, Nebiat Getachew, First Liaison Officer with Ethiopia's Embassy in Ottawa, said consolidated efforts are underway to complete the construction of the dam and called on the Diaspora to further extend their support.
Public Relations Head of the Council for GERD in Ottawa, Kidane Gebremariam said Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin in the city have been extending continuous support to the dam since its launching.
He stated that this fund raising program was the sixth and will continue till the completion of GERD.
Professor Taj Elkhazin, Sudanese scholar at Carleton University's Institute of African Studies, noted that the earlier treaties on Nile were unfair as they did not involve all the stakeholders.
According to Professor Taj Elkhazin, the dam under construction by Ethiopia is laudable as it is meant to benefit all the stakeholders and integrate the region.
Representative of Ottawa’s Mayor, President of Africa-Canada Association and invited guests have attended the event.
The Singapore- Ethiopia business forum being held in Addis Ababa will inspire investors to look Ethiopia as a potential investment, business and tourism destination, the country's senior official said.
Singapore business persons and company representatives drawn from hospitality industry, health, education, manufacturing, agriculture and commodity trade are in Ethiopia to explore investment opportunities in the country.
At the opening of the forum, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defense & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamad Malik Bin Osman lauded Ethiopia's potential saying it is a country with immense investment potential.
This creates a good opportunity to Singapore investors to engage in country, he said.
The trade exchange between Ethiopia and Singapore has reached 24 million USD in 2015, but it needs to be further expanded, he said.
The tie is expected to be strengthened with the launching of a direct flight to Singapore by Ethiopian Airlines, he added.
According to the Minister, the two countries are working to consolidate the ties. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to Avoidance of Double Taxation is among them, he said.
Ethiopian Investment Commissioner Fistum Arega briefed the investors about the investment and business potential of the country, urging them to utilize these opportunities.
Cheap electric power and labor, incentives from the government including tax holidays are among the things that made the country suitable to invest and do business, he said.
Development of infrastructures such as industrial parks, transport and communication networks as well as the country's potential for agriculture and hospitality industry, makes it appropriate destination for investment, he said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development in Canada, Karina Gould, has expressed her country’s desire to work hand-in-hand with Ethiopia in the spheres of energy, mining, and infrastructure development.
After conferring with Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom on ways of further deepening bilateral ties, Gould said Ethiopia and Canada are great partners in development and trade.
“We were very much working together to continue Ethiopia’s development and work hand-in-hand to improve economic situation and to continue strengthening development relationship”, she said.
The minster appreciated Ethiopia's efforts in stabilizing peace and security in Eastern African region and has expressed her government’s commitment to continue its support to the country in its efforts to bring durable peace in the region.
She finally invited the government to participate in the Canada-African business forum to be held in Toronto on November 2016. “We hope this is going to be a strong delegation and there is significant interest of Canadian companies in particularly energy, mining, aerospace, and infrastructure sectors”, the minster observed.
Foreign Minister Tedros said on his part that Ethiopia and Canada have various kinds of cooperation, including in capacity building.
The Government of Canada has been contributing a lot to support Ethiopia in its efforts to mitigate the recent drought, Tedros said, adding that each and every year Canada is the country that has been extending financial support for various development projects.
The minister further emphasized that the two sides should have to focus on expanding the existing cooperation to trade and investment.
Tedros has called on the Government of Canada to encourage investors to do business in Ethiopia as there are industrial parks that can accommodate them.