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.

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Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed met and held discussions with Addis-based European ambassadors .

According to Office of the Prime Minister-Ethiopia , the ambassadors welcomed the progressive steps taken over the past months in Ethiopia under the new leadership.

The ambassadors particularly commended the opening up of the political and media spaces, and expressed their admiration regarding the role Ethiopia is playing to bring stability and integration in the region.

Noting the positive changes taking shape, members of the European Union and non-EU member countries equally confirmed their sustained partnership with Ethiopia.

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The 3rd Ethiopia-Canada Business and Investment Forum held in Toronto, Canada, co-organized by the Embassy of Ethiopia in Ottawa, WAFA Marketing and Promotion and MineAfrica. The official delegations were led by Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. AkliluHailemichael, and Canada’s delegation by Mr. Jean-Philippe Linteau, Director of Clean Technology, Infrastructure, Climate Finance and Life Sciences, of Global Affairs. Representatives from more than 80 Canadian companies attended.

Dr. Aklilu in a keynote speech underlining the all-round bilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and Canada and the investment opportunities and incentives that Ethiopia offered to foreign investors, urged Canadian companies to seize the opportunities available. He assured forum participants that the Government was committed to welcome and provide every support to investors. Mr. Linteau expressed the readiness of the Government of Canada to enhance the business relations between Canada and Ethiopia and assist Canadian companies interested to invest in Ethiopia. He emphasized the current political developments in Ethiopia and said the Canadian government fully supported these. Noting the recent bilateral consultations between the two countries and their agreement on the need to improve trade and investment by encouraging the private sector, he referred to a recent telephone conversation between the two Prime Ministers in which they promised to meet each other in the near future. He emphasized the Canadian government is in full support of the changes taking place in the country. He called on Canadian companies to explore the Trade and Investment opportunities in Ethiopia.

There were presentations of the investment opportunities available in Ethiopia and Zemedeneh Nigatu, Global Chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund, LLC, listed ten reasons for investing in Ethiopia: the growing economy, the demographic advantage of a large and youthful population, rapid urbanization, the growing manufacturing, infrastructure, huge untapped resources, agriculture, tourism, its strategic location and the trade advantages though COMESA, the EU and other bodies. A risk profile of Ethiopia categorized risks under five headings; political and security, foreign currency, financial, supply chain and evolving policy. It recommended potential investors to visit Ethiopia, develop contacts, engage in partnerships, joint ventures and utilize the services provided by the Canadian Trade Commission. It called on the Canadian Government to be more active in supporting Canadian investors in Ethiopia. A case study of Kefi Minerals’ Tulu Kapi Gold Project, described as a showcase of Canadian s investment in Ethiopia and expected to start production by 2020, was presented.

The presentations were followed by a Panel Discussion chaired by Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael, at which questions raised included problems related to foreign currency shortages and possible solutions, institution building, Ethiopia’s relations with Briton Wood Institutions, urban housing, technology transfer, support for small and medium size companies, and drivers to attract Canadian companies to infrastructure investment. Following the panel discussion, extensive business-to-business and business-to-government discussions and networking took place.

Ethiopian Airlines and European Union Delegation to Ethiopia have signed a letter of intent to establish Ethio-European International Business School (EEIBS) on December 5/2018.

The letter of intent was signed by Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and European Union Delegation Head to Ethiopia Ambassador Johan Borgstam, according to a press release sent to ENA.

The airline will host the delivery of an MBA program at Ethiopian Aviation Academy with the support of the EU Delegation under the EU’s Transformation Triggering Facility (TTF) program, it added.

Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde said the realization of the idea will enable Ethiopian Airlines to offer world-class leadership courses in the aviation profession at regional and continental level.

“Once established, the school will be a significant addition to the leadership courses we are delivering at our Aviation Academy, an ICAO-designated Regional Training Center of Excellence. We look forward to launching the MBA courses and shape as many young African minds as possible, adding value to their academic and professional lives,” he pointed out.

European Union Delegation Head to Ethiopia, Ambassador Johan Borgstam said on his part the union is very happy on the signed agreement to partner with Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy as European Union (EU) invests heavily in human capital development in Ethiopia.

He stated that “the EU Delegation to Ethiopia is proud to partner with Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy on this important project that will provide quality education to young Ethiopians. Investing in training and education is critical for the realization of Ethiopia’s development strategy. The European Union invests heavily in human capital development in Ethiopia and supports government efforts to improve the business environment and the implementation of the industrialization agenda.”

A forum aimed at enhancing textile and apparel investment ties between Ethiopia and South Korea kicked off in Addis Ababa on December 06/2018.

The forum is aimed at further strengthen mutual beneficiary cooperation between the two countries and significant platform in creating business opportunities.

Opening the Forum, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Aklilu Hailemichael said that the environment of Ethiopia is getting favorable for investment as it is one of the top destinations.

“Currently South Korean investors are showing excellent performance in several sectors,” he said, adding that there are about 76 licensed investment companies of food 61 are fully Korean and 15 Ethiopian Korean joint ventures.

He emphasized that Ethiopia will continue to do all the necessary activities to ensure the two countries relation continue to strengthen and the cooperation broaden.

Korea’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Hoon-min Lim said that the bilateral relationship and cooperation between the two countries need to further develop and strengthened beyond the existing level to figure out ways of encouraging more active private sector exchange and cooperation.

He pointed out that the potential of the Ethiopian textile industry and the economic reforms undergoing to strengthen its economy by opening up and introducing competition is well known.

“We expect that Korea’s capital, technology and experience combined with the potential of Ethiopia will produce a model for win-win cooperation that will benefit both countries,” the ambassador noted.

It was learned that Ethiopian textile and apparel industry has grown at an average rate of 51 percent in the past 6 years.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has arrived Addis Ababa on October 11, 2018 for a two-day official visit to Ethiopia, according to Office of the Prime Minister.

Upon his arrival at Bole International Airport, Prime Minister Conte was warmly welcome by his Ethiopian counterpart Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The premiers and other high level government officials are expected to hold bilateral discussions, it was learned.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will next visit Eritrea to confer with President Isaias Afwerki, according to sources.

Conte’s mission is part of a concerted support for the peace deal signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea last July after nearly 20 years of stalemate.

It is to be recalled that former Italy President Sergio Mattarella visited Addis Ababa in 2016.


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