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.

Members of Diaspora review ADA activities

Members of the Ethiopian Diaspora have discussed on the so far activities of the Amahra Development Association (ADA), as part of the second Diaspora day festival in the town of Bahirdar.

The Diaspora community received briefings about ADA activities presented by the Chairperson of the association’s board of directors Kassa Tekleberhan.

ADA is a non-political and religious entity aiming at alleviating the social and economic problems of the region, Kassa who is also Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoral Area Development said.

According to the Chairperson, ADA needs the full involvement of its members to accomplish its mission.

"Our association has been prioritizing on human capital development. There are qualified physicians, engineers, teachers and other professionals all over the world who can produce tremendous effect in the development activities in the region. We have to utilize their potential properly," Kassa emphasized.

He urged members of the Diaspora to contribute for the development of their region.

Amhara Development Association Branch Regional Offices and the Diaspora Affairs Coordinator Degarege Seyoum on his part said ADA has undertaken numerous projects which have produced fruitful results in all sectors.

The association has accomplished successful projects on health, education, infrastructure and capacity building sectors, according to the coordinator. 

ADA has collected more than 780 million birr from its members and other charity organizations in five years which exceeded the planned target.

Considering it as a politically affiliated entity and failures to settle membership fees on time are the challenges of the association which should be addressed, Degarege indicated.

Some participants of the forum pledged to contribute part based on requests by the association.

The event also entertained awards and recognition given to representatives of 157 investors who are engaged in various investment fields in the state.

Representatives of Ethiopian Embassies and consulate generals abroad were also recognized for their contribution in coordinating activities in their respective countries of assignment.

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom met with Parliament Members of Victoria State of Australia in his office on July 22, 2016. The two sides discussed issues ranging from regional peace and security to investment and trade opportunities in Ethiopia.   

Hon. Bruce Atkinson president of the legislative council of Victoria state and leader of the delegation, said "I'm very much encouraged with what Ethiopia is doing especially the participation of many people in decision making particularly women". Hon. Bruce also said Australia recognizes Ethiopia's role in regional peace and security matters and humanitarian assistance. "The African Union Is well placed In Ethiopia" said Hon. Bruce. Noting the firm and strong friendship the two countries have had, the president pointed out areas of cooperation which could further strengthen the bilateral relations, particularly on Irrigation and Afforestation which he said are areas of expertise for Australians.  Reiterating the existence of many Ethiopians in Melbourne, the team requested the Government of Ethiopia to open Honorary Consulate.       

Dr. Tedros on his part expressed his satisfaction with the parliamentarians' visit to Ethiopia. He also hailed Australia's support to Ethiopia, particularly its role in the health sector.  The Minister invited Australian Investors to cease investment opportunities in Ethiopia, especially in areas of livestock and diary production. He further called upon the parliamentarians to be Ethiopia's Ambassadors in promoting the country's investment opportunities. The Minister also welcomed the opening of honorary consulate in Melbourne.  

Dr. Tedros holds talk with UK trade envoy, Somalia regional president

Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom has received UK and Somalia officials at his office where they exchanged views on enhancing bilateral engagements.

UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Ethiopia Richard Benyon and President of Somalia's South-West State Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan met with Dr. Tedros, showing possibilities for increased bilateral exchanges. 

Dr. Tedros and UK’s official discussed on ways to strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries. 

Following the talks, the trade envoy told reporters that the 'graph is up ward' in the Ethio-UK economic relation and a growing number of UK companies have shown interest to engage in infrastructure and energy sectors.

Benyon indicated he visited the recently-opened Unilever Company and Hawassa Industrial Park and expressed the British government and companies’ interest to be part of industrial development initiatives in Ethiopia.

The envoy noted that the UK has also a desire to support various development plans in Ethiopia and encourage its companies to have an active involvement in the latter’s market.

Benyon admired the various economic development activities he witnessed in Ethiopia and promised to advise the new British Prime Minister to come and witness the situation.

During the discussion, the UK companies were urged to largely invest in industrial parks, pharmaceuticals industry and capacity building trainings.

In related news, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros conferred with President of Somalia's South-West State Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan.

The two sides shared views on increasing cooperation in the fight against al-Shabab and the upcoming national election in Somalia.

The president appreciated the role the Ethiopian Defense Forces have been playing under the umbrella of AMISOM to combat al-Shabab in Somalia and to ensure the country's peace and stability.

Sheikh Adan indicated that al-Shabab has a plan to spoil the August election and called on Ethiopia to maintain the support it has rendered to bring durable peace and help ensure the successful conduction of the election.

Dr. Tedros indicated Ethiopia's firm stance in ensuring lasting peace and stability in Somalia and enable the country to hold a successful election.

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.

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