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.

Volkswagen, the automobile giant of Germany, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28/2019 with Ethiopian Investment Commission that will enable it establish a car assembly facility in Ethiopia.

The MoU was signed by Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of EIC and Thomas Schaefer, Head of Volkswagen Sub-Saharan African Region.

German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier witnessed the signing.

Ethiopia has become the third country in Sub-Saharan Africa to sign MoU with Volkswagen to start casr assembly in the last six months after Ghana and Nigeria.

The MoU paves way for Volkswagen and the Ethiopian government to jointly deliver on the vision of developing a suitable and vertically integrated automotive industry cluster in Ethiopia.

Speaking at the occasion, EIC Commissioner Abebe Abebayehu affirmed that the government of Ethiopia is fully committed to support the establishment of specialized clusters.

He also pledged that the nation will work proactively with Volkswagen and all key government agencies to effectively translate this partnership into concrete action and actual investments.

Thomas Schaefer, Head of Volkswagen Sub-Saharan African Region appreciated the government of Ethiopia for its support and identifying the automotive sector as one of the key manufacturing industries.

He added that the MoU has been signed with Ethiopia is a demonstration that Volkswagen is gaining momentum in the Sub-Saharan region. 

“As one of the fastest growing economies and with the highest population in the continent, Ethiopia is an ideal country to advance Volkswagen’s Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy, he stated.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed begins met with European Council, President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium.  ‪

Prime Minister Abiy arrived in Brussels on January 23/2019, the third leg of his trip to Europe, aimed at enhancing ties with Western nations, particularly in economic sphere.  

The discussions focused on issues of mutual cooperation interests to both parties, according to Office of the prime Minister. 

Premier Abiy has visited Italy and participated in the World Economic Forum which was held in Davos, Switzerland as part of his tour to Europe.

Ethiopia and European Union (EU) signed financial agreement amounting to 130 million Euros today, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

The agreement was signed following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s discussions with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, Belgium. 

The financial agreement is to support sustainable energy initiatives, establishment of agro-industry parks and job creation, it was learned.

Both, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and European Union Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker witnessed the signing of financing agreements.

President Sahlework Zewde has today received letters of credentials of eight newly appointed ambassadors to Ethiopia.

The ambassadors, who presented letters of credentials, represent Canada, Turkey, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Slovak, Serbia, Colombia and Malta.

The former six are resident Ambassadors in Ethiopia, while the ambassadors of Colombia and Malta based in Kenya and Egypt respectively.

On the occasion, President Sahlework has expressed her anticipation that the newly appointed ambassadors will further enhance bilateral and multilateral relations with Ethiopia, according to the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nebyat Getachew.

Moreover, the President expressed her confidence that the ambassadors would make contribution to expansion of cooperation of their countries with Ethiopia on common concerns of regional and international issues.

Sahlework revealed Ethiopia’s keenness to cooperate with the Ambassadors to strengthen relations with their respective countries in order to elevate ties on investment, trade and tourism, during their tenure.

The ambassadors, on their part, praised and are closely following the ongoing reforms in the country and pledged to further strengthen bilateral and diplomatic ties with Ethiopia.

Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva has praised the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Horn of African Region, January 21/2019.

Continuing his meetings with development partners in Rome, Premier Abiy Ahmed met with FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

According to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, da Silva commended the role being played by Ethiopia in the Horn noting that “peace is an important pre-condition”.

He also particularly noted PM Abiy’s political leadership in facilitating sweeping changes.

Premier Abiy on his part highlighted that integration is a priority for him and therefore peace in the region as a critical foundation for realizing this goal.

With regards to food security and agriculture, PM Abiy emphasized that the needs of small holder farmers is notably access to markets.

This, therefore, requires joint technical interventions, which both agreed to build on and strengthen the existing cooperation, it was indicated.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Abiy held talks with Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his third meeting with development partners in Rome.

The two sides agreed to further strength IFAD’s and the Government’s collaboration in medium scale irrigation and rural financing to enhance the performance of Ethiopia in addressing the need of poor communities.

Houngbo appreciated Abiy’s courage that he has shown so far to bring change in the previous few months.

IFAD’s support to Ethiopia is the largest portfolio in Africa that boost the government’s effort to enhance the life of poor communities through enhancing the productivity of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, he added.

Abiy on his part stressed on the need for strengthening irrigation and food security interventions.

Prime Minister Abiy who arrived in Rome, Italy yesterday for an official visit, is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte following his invitation to PM Dr Abiy during his 2018 Ethiopia visit.

On his way to the World Economic Forum to be held in Davos, Switzerland, Premier Abiy has made a stopover in Rome, Italy on Sunday.

During his stay in Rome, PM Abiy expected to meet with his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte

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