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.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki have officially opened Oumhajir-Humera border on January 07/2019 that connects the two countries.
The opening of the border is anticipated to further enable the people-to-people relation on both sides and facilitate cross-border trade in the long term.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed landed in the Eritrean town of Tessene, accompanied by Chief Administrators of Amhara and Tigray Regional States, it was indicated.
Upon arrival, he was welcomed by President Isaias Afeworki and his delegation.
This opening border in Oumhajir and Gerset on the Eritrean side and to the Humera border area is the continuation of normalizing of Ethio-Eritrea relations, it was learned.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki signed a peace accord in July 2018, restoring diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.
Following the peace accord, Ethiopia and Eretria have been enjoying mutual diplomatic relationship.
President Sahlework Zewde has received credentials of five newly appointed ambassadors of different countries including Eritrea on the 27th of December 2018.
Ambassadors of Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia, Thailand and Tunisia have presented their credentials for the President.
The newly appointed ambassadors pledged to improve their respective countries bilateral relation with Ethiopia.
Eritrea’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Semere Russom said his appointment in this time is encouraging working together and he will strive to strength the countries.
“All our energies, all our resources are going to be directed to working for common development and for joint development”, he said.
Ambassador of Somalia to Ethiopia Ali Sharif Ahmed said he will work to improve Ethio-Somalia relation to a higher level.
He added that the economic field will be the main areas of cooperation between Ethiopia and Somalia as the latter has vibrant private sector that wants to come and invest in Ethiopia.
“The relationship will be commercial, security, political and regional cooperation that we have never seen before, that is what we are trying to achieve as Somalia representative here”, he said.
Egyptian Ambassador, Osama Abdel Khaleq said Egypt and Ethiopia maintain strong relationship.
The Ambassador said that he will work to further the bilateral relationship to a strategic level.
“Both countries are enormous and have potential to further that relationship to strategic partnership… this is the ambition I have as an ambassador of Egypt”, he expressed.
While receiving credentials, President Sahlework told the Ambassadors to exert maximum effort to materialize bilateral agreements that Ethiopia signed with their respective countries.
She assured the ambassadors that the Ethiopian government will work to enhance the bilateral ties with all the countries, according to Melse Alem, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Adama Antex Groups, a Chinese textile manufacturing company, has officially started exporting its products, making it the first company to export from the recently inaugurated Adama Industrial Park on December 30/2018.
From its first export to Europe, a container of swimwear, the company is expected to generate 100,000 U.S. dollars, Antex Chairman, Qian Anhua said.
The Chairman said that the company has created jobs for 1,500 individuals. The number is expected to reach 10,000 when it goes fully operational.
Antex, that started its investment with five million U.S. dollars has later increased its capital to 50 million U.S. dollars. It is working on eight sheds that it rented within the park.
Officials from the investment commission and industrial parks development corporation (IPDC) attended the ceremony organized to celebrate the first export from the park.
CEO of IPDC, Lelise Neme lauded the company for starting to export products within a short period of time.
She added that Adama Industrial Park is exemplary for others for starting export within few months. The park was officially inaugurated in October this year.
Two companies including Antex are already started operation, while three others are in the pipeline, she said.
Adama industrial park is among the industrial parks that Ethiopia has developed over the past few years in order to stimulate industrial development by attracting anchor companies.
Adama Industrial park, approximately 93km southeast of Addis Abeba in Oromia regional state, was inaugurated in early October by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The first phase of the park that lies on 102 hectares, built at a cost of 147 million dollars was commissioned by the Industrial Parks Development Corporation.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched an initiative to improve Ethiopia’s business and investment climate.
The initiative is an integral part of Ethiopia’s Action Plan for Jobs, according to Office of the Prime Minister. The initiative is expected to make Ethiopia a competitive place to start and grow businesses.
PM Abiy said Ethiopia ranks 159 out of 190 in “Ease of Doing Business” and described the environment as inefficient, bureaucratic and cumbersome.
The national program will have 80 distinct actions to be delivered across 10 government agencies.
Abiy said Ethiopia has untapped investment opportunities, but weak system. “So the system and law need to be reviewed within the next 100 days.”
The revisions will include trade law, banking and credit system, tax collection, power supply and others, it was indicated.
Ethiopia has accomplished significant achievements as a Non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the last two years, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The country’s term in UNSC will end on the 31st of December 2018 and South Africa will take over the seat, MoFA Spokesperson Meles Alem said.
He said the nation has played significant role in echoing voices of African countries to influence decisions.
Meles noted that Ethiopia has also exerted diplomatic efforts in Ethio-Eritrea rapprochement and has been able to showcase its reputation as a major pillar in the continent’s peace and security architecture.
Besides ensuring its national interests, “Ethiopia has tried to be the voice of reason at the UNSC, calling for unity and consensus in responding to some of the most difficult and complex peace and security challenges of our time,” the spokesperson pointed out.
Ethiopia’s policy priorities were ensuring national advantage and security, global peace keeping operations, realizing UN-AU system integration and fighting against terrorism, and played outstanding performance in each priority, according to Meles.
Ethiopia’s role in UNSC from 1967-1968, 1989-1990 and 2017-2018 has helped in protecting peace and security as well as passing decisions and resolutions.