Ethiopia leading East Africa in FDI: Ambassador Hirut

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has led East Africa in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and is Africa’s fifth-largest recipient of FDI, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU institutions Hirut Zemene said.

The above remark was made in her opening remarks to an Investment Promotion webinar organized with the aim of familiarizing the Belgian and Luxembourgish business communities about the business environment in Ethiopia.

Ambassador Hirut, who moderated the promotion event, stated that the business relationship between Belgium and Ethiopia is growing and that Belgian companies are active in manufacturing and horticulture sectors.

There is a preliminary investment link between Luxembourg and Ethiopia in the financial and technology sectors, which can be expanded, she noted.

Ethiopian Investment Commissioner and panelist Lelise Neme told the participants that the Ethiopia aspires to be among the top 100 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index.

In this regard, structural and regulatory reform measures are being taken to improve the investment environment for existing and new investors, she added.

Lelise also stated that the recently launched ten-year development plan as well as the Home-Grown Economic Reform Agenda with a comprehensive and well-synchronized set of macroeconomic, structural, and sectoral reforms will help ensure sustained growth.

She encouraged the participants to explore investment opportunities in Ethiopia and expressed the readiness of the Ethiopian Investment Commission to cater to their interests.

Industrial Parks Development Corporation CEO, Sandokan Debebe said there are 24 industrial parks in Ethiopia, of which 17 are owned by the government and seven run by the private sector.

He emphasized that these industrial parks have managed to retain 75% of their employees even under the COVID-19 pandemic

The CEO also explained about facilities such as the one-stop-shop and customized incentive packages associated with industrial parks.

CEO of Durabilis-KogaVeg PLC (Fair Fruit Ethiopia), one of the successful Belgian companies in Ethiopia, Evert Wulfrank shared his company’s experience in Ethiopia.

Last year, he said, his company shipped its first avocado production to Europe.

Wulfrank explained how his company has focused on the inclusion of smallholder farmers in the investment project that contributed its part in sustainable agriculture.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Francois Dumont concluded the webinar by commending the Ethiopian Embassy for organizing this successful event and thanking the presenters for their extensive and important presentation.

He said Belgium’s three regional investment and trade agencies intend to send a business delegation to Ethiopia and Rwanda in October 2021.

Participants of the webinar included representatives of chambers of commerce, regional investment and trade agencies, investors and business owners from Belgium, Luxembourg, Ethiopia, and the UNIDO office in Brussels.

BY STAFF REPORTER

The Ethiopian Herald 30 April 2021

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