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.

German Ambassador to Ethiopia, Joachim Schmidt has disclosed the growing momentum in the trade and investment exchanges between Ethiopia and Germany.

The government of Germany facilities trade and business relation between German and Ethiopia, the Ambassador said, mentioning his country as one of the most important trading partners of Ethiopia.

Germany’s export to Ethiopia increased by 77 percent between 2013 and 2015, with the current trade volume leaping over 300 million Euros per year.

Ethiopia exports agricultural products, including coffee and textiles to German markets, while it imports pharmaceuticals, medicines and machinery, among others.

“The trade volume between Ethiopia and Germany has constantly increased over time. One visual example recently has been the purchase of the first Airbus plane in sub-Saharan Africa by Ethiopian Airlines,” Ambassador Schmidt said.

Currently, some 35 German companies are active in Ethiopia in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, logistic, floriculture and transport.

 “There is great interest of German companies to invest in Ethiopia and that is why we are in constant dialogue with Ethiopian government on improving the investment conditions,” he said.

Ambassador Schmidt also cited last week’s discussion between German officials and Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in Addis Ababa to further enhance the trade and investment ties between the two nations.

He indicated additional works ahead to encourage more trade and investment, adding: “We very much welcome Ethiopia’s efforts in fighting bureaucracy and increasing the predictability and reliability for investment and trade partners.”

The expansion of cobblestone roads in Ethiopia has been widely promoted by German experts since 2007 which has created jobs to many unemployed youth throughout the nation.

Germany’s assistance has been one of the longest and most intense, according to the Ambassador, who said his country has been supporting Ethiopia for more than 50 years now expending over one billion Euros.

President encourages Netherlands companies to diversify venture

President Mulatu Teshome has urged Netherlands based companies to diversify areas of engagement in Ethiopia.

The President saw off the Ambassador of Netherlands to Ethiopia Lidi Remmelzwaal at the National Palace.

During talks with the departing Ambassador, Dr. Mulatu advised companies from the Netherlands to look for potentials in machinery and software engineering development to assist the country’s drive towards industrialization.

Horticulture and agriculture have been typical fields of investment for the Netherlands companies with fruits and vegetables, spices and pulses development constituting the areas of investment.

Dr. Mulatu on the occasion mentioned the heavy investment from the Netherlands, with cooperation in horticulture taking a center stage.

The companies are encouraged to engage in experience sharing and provision of trainings alongside direct investment.

President Mulatu praised the departing Ambassador`s fruitful job during her tenure in Ethiopia which started in 2013.

Ambassador Remmelzwaal on her part cited Ethiopia’s suitable weather, large labor force and soil as well as favorable conditions for investment.

She indicated that some challenges in investment are being tackled through joint actions between the Ethiopian government and the embassy.

The number of Netherlands companies engaging in various investment fields in Ethiopia has reached 130 from just 80 in 2013.

Netanyahu concludes Ethiopia visit

The visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the need for strong cooperation among governments to win the war against terrorism globally.

In his statement to the House of the Peoples Representative, Netanyahu urged the need for strong partnership against terrorism.

Netanyahu said he is confident that terrorists will be defeated but he urged that collaboration is important for speedy victory.

The Prime Minister said agreement has been reached among the leaders of African countries; he has been conferred with, on the need for a close collaboration.

Saying that Ethiopia has been showing a great advancement towards development, Netanyahu stated his country's readiness for an enhanced tie with the East African nation.

He announced his country's commitment to work closely with Ethiopia, a country with increasing and strong influence on the African continent.

Netanyahu, who arrived in Addis Ababa late last night for a state visit, has discussed in the morning with the President and Prime Minister of Ethiopia about ways of strengthening partnership

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) on 17th July 2016, on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Kigali, held the 35th Session of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HoSGOC). Opened by host President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, with remarks by  AU Chairperson, President Idriss Deby of Chad, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and with a welcome President Macky Sall of Senegal the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, the Committee's High Level Roundtable  was held under the subject of "Agenda 2063 and Industrialization: The Role of NEPAD."

Speaking on the subject of "Reflections on Ethiopia's Experience with Industrialization",  Prime Minister Hailemariam noted the fact that "in Ethiopia, Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) is the fundamental building block of industrial development". He pointed out that the country's "strategic direction for industrialization is based on our natural and human resources." Focusing on the key role industrialization could play in transforming Ethiopia's economy for the better, the Prime Minister made it clear that ensuring accelerated and sustained industrial development was fundamental for bringing about the overall transformation and the long-term development of Ethiopia. In addition, he emphasized the fact that in "the current five-year Growth and Transformation Plan, which we launched in 2015, we have given supreme importance to accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry". He said the country planned to expand manufacturing industry at all levels, micro, small, medium and large and it was making a countrywide effort to "sustain a 22% annual growth rate of the manufacturing industry during the second five year GTP (2015-2020)." The Prime Minister pointed out that at the regional level the industrialization process focused on small and medium industries, while at the federal level the government was promoting large-scale industries. The Prime Minister also added that there were extensive plans ""aiming to improve the sector's productivity, product quality and competitiveness," as a necessary element in achieving these ambitious plans.

Speaking of the implementation strategies and programs needed to realize the goals of the current industrialization strategy, the Prime Minister listed four major approaches that were of pivotal importance. The first of these was sustainable improvement of "the implementation capacity of the Ministry of Industry and the different Specialized Sectoral Institutions." Second was the special emphasis given to "pursuing the investment expansion program in manufacturing industry." Third was the launching of a specific "Productivity, Competitiveness, Quality and Capacity Building Program," and finally, the provision of "all-rounded support to manufacturing industry", the most important element of which is the construction of industrial parks.

Prime Minister Hailemariam emphasized that without such provisions "it is difficult, if not impossible, to realize the expansion in investment that we plan to achieve. Therefore, in order to attract investment, we have intensified construction of industrial parks, complete with some of the basic infrastructure services such as industrial sheds, power, telecommunication links and roads. The industrial parks also enable us to provide one-stop services to cover visas, customs, logistics and transport." He pointed out he had just inaugurated one eco-friendly industrial park, in Hawassa, a couple of days earlier. That was, he said, "a park that will create employment opportunity for 83,000 citizens. Indeed, the Hawassa environment-friendly industrial park is an archetype that we will emulate in constructing about 16 similar industrial parks throughout the country." 

The Prime Minister concluded his remarks on the industrialization process in Ethiopia by thanking the African Development Bank, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency and the UNECA for their continued support.

South Sudan Stabilizing, Grateful to Ethiopia

Ethiopia has been playing a leading role in bringing peace and stability to South Sudan, according to the Vice President of South Sudan.

South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga met today with Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom to brief him on the status of the peace process in South Sudan after the establishment of the transitional government. 

The Vice President said Ethiopia’s role in bringing South Sudan together is immense and the South Sudanese government and the opposition have agreed on most of the issues.

According to him, agreements were reached on ten issues out of 12 and minor differences remain only on two issues. The peace process is progressing well, he added.

Igga said ‘“we are very grateful for the efforts Ethiopia” has been exerting to bring peace to South Sudan, adding that the agreement signed is under implementation so as to bring sustainable peace in the region.

Asked about the Murle tribe, who commit violent acts against neighboring tribes due to unreasoning behavior, the vice president said they are not out of control and the government has started awareness creation campaign to stop them from attacking their neighbors again.

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta said Ethiopia has been striving to bring peace to South Sudan and will continue its support through IGAD.

The spokesperson added that the two sides have agreed on ways of revitalizing their cooperation agreement which was signed earlier.

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