With a population nearing 95 million people, The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a beacon for foreign direct investment (FDI). This is a big country with big aspirations for future prosperity and invites you to be a part of this great adventure.Being one of sub-Sahara Africa’s fastest growing economies and endowed with huge natural resources, it is no surprise the amount of increasing interest Ethiopia has stirred up among foreign investors all over the world. A Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 11% is not something you ignore easily.

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Source : East African Business Week
http://www.busiweek.com/index1.php?Ctp=2&pI=2865&pLv=3&srI=77&spI=289&cI=10

Origin Africa/Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW) 2015, one of biggest textile and garment event on the continent, is due take place in Ethiopia from the 21st - 23rd October 2015 at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa.
Last year's event was held in Nairobi, Kenya in November, 2014. The event organizers have stated that they expect over 200 exhibitors to participate in the upcoming event.
African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) together with International event organizers Trade and Fairs East Africa (TFEA) in Partnership with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (EATIH) will organize Origin Africa 2015.
A statement the organizers stated that the event will highlight the creativity and innovation of the African cotton, textile and clothing industries, with a specific focus on business, trade and investment both regionally and internationally while capturing the spirit, style and innovation of modern Africa.
The 3 day event will encompass a trade exhibition, conference, business to business (B2B) meetings and a fashion designer exposition. “Being an integral part of the expo, the exhibition will have a section for cotton fiber, textile and export ready apparel industries, machinery and technology, home textile and décor and a brand new beauty section,” the statement indicated.
Special B2B meetings will be organized for buyers to meet procurement officers whereby they set their own needs and topics, while investors will have meeting set at their offices to discuss both local and foreign investments. The conference will also be discussing on topics that emphasis on the buyers and investors interest: financial Institution packages for investment development; the manufacturer’s challenges, involvement of government support and the role of associations.
The 2014 Origin Africa event was a high profile, international event with more than 400 participants from 11 countries, including 15 regional and international buyers, with strong representation from across the cotton, textile and apparel value chain.
Experts said that this kind of event is a good opportunity for Ethiopia to showcase its potential for genuine investors and buyers.
Origin Africa 2012 that took place from 24-27 April in Addis Ababa showcased textile and apparel products of 60 exhibitors from Africa, China, India, the US and Europe. Almost half of the exhibitors are textile and apparel manufactures and fashion designers.

Source: Capital

The Ethiopian delegation, which was in Canada, Toronto for the Canada-Africa Business Summit, met on Thursday with Mr. Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade.

Discussions centered on issues of bilateral investment and trade ties. H.E. AlemayehuTegenu, Ethiopia's Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, gave Mr. Fast a detailed briefing of Ethiopia's green energy development projects, as well as the areas of opportunity.

He also underlined the importance of Ethiopia's energy potential for neighboring countries and beyond. Minister Alemayehu, who expressed his thanks to the Government of Canada for its continued support to Ethiopia's national renewal projects, also reiterated the importance of strengthening the present Ethio-Canadian economic partnership in order to help sustain Ethiopia's current positive economic trajectory.

In the same instance, Fitsum Arega, Director-General of Ethiopia's Investment Agency, briefed Mr. Fast on the country's investment and business climate and on the possible areas of engagement.

Mr. Fast, who underlined the need to cement business and investment ties for mutual development and progress, noted that Ethiopia was Canada's priority partner in development activities.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

fitsum EIC newsThe Ethiopian Investment Commissions (EIC) is waiting for the approval of a name to launch a new investor-friendly website. The site has been developed by a Brussels-based company, with the support of the European Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The EIC launched the website at an event hosted at the Hilton Addis on October 16, 2014, with a temporary name while it sorts out a proposed name with ethio telecom, according to Yohannes Tilahun, the senior director of the public-private partnership (PPP) in the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), whose agency has partnered with the EIC during the process, according to Yohannes. The ATA opened the PPP section in February 2013.
The EIC and the ATA came together in this project after the Ministry of Agriculture requested that the ATA open a section for PPP in order to facilitate the creation of a supply chain for the crop yields of smallholder farmers, which the Ministry had aimed to double.
In a three-year plan, the EIC had cited changing the Commission’s website, www.eia.gov.et, as one of the targets for the first year, Yohannes said.
The development of the new website was caused by the World Bank’s ranking, issued in the World Bank’s Global Investment Promotion Best Practices (GIPB) report in 2012, where websites from Sub- Saharan African countries collectively were scored in the 45th percentile. The World Bank scores these websites every three years, and the new site comes in time for the 2015 assessment, says a joint press release from the COMESA’s Regional Investment Agency, the EIC and the ATA.
Yohannes and Fitsum Arega, the EIC’s commissioner, personally contacted the European Union (EU) in Addis Abeba for assistance to develop the website. The EU already had allocated a budget for four COMESA member countries, of which Ethiopia would be one, through the COMESA’s Regional Investment Agencies (RIA). The other three were Kenya, Sudan and Swaziland. Except for Kenya, all the other countries are to get completely new websites, whereas Kenya are to receive assistance for the system it already has in place.
The EIC’s old website was deemed to have had little to offer to investors, was lacking information, and had no interaction and rather unattractive features, according to officials speaking at the launch, Fitsum said.
The EU chose PBLH International Consulting from Brussels, Belgium, to develop the website. Now, PBLH is training IT staff for the maintenance of the website, Yohannes says.
This site, according to Valeria Di Fiori, from PBLH, is simple and attractive, with easy navigation and relevant and up-to-date information, as well as a user friendly site map
It is equipped with an information centre, archives and a business to business feature, which acts as a classified section for investors who want to find other investors – both foreign and local. The other more important feature of the website, only visible to EIC staff, is the investment tracking system, which conducts customer relations management and will record the interactions and relationships the EIC makes with potential investors or existing ones, which will no longer be conducted on paper.
The EIC says that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ethiopia is growing, with 17.5 billion Br registered between 2010/12 and 18.47 billion Br in 2013/14, according to Fitsum. All of that was, however, despite the current website not advertising investing in Ethiopia, he says. Therefore, the EIC devised a new and improved plan to further promote investment in Ethiopia, hence, the new website, according to Fitsum.
“Through this website, the EIC is determined to go beyond providing basic information and reach investors in advance to address their concerns and make the experience of investing in Ethiopia smooth. The website is a key tool to assist the Ethiopian investment commission in focusing its efforts towards maximizing the benefits of FDI,” reads the press release.
The Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) is a government agency established in 1992 to promote private investment, primarily FDI. The overall activities of the Agency used to be supervised and followed up by an Investment Board, which was chaired by the Minister of Industry. But since the change into a Commission as of June 2014, it is supervised by a board of ministers chaired by the Prime Minister. By being a commission, it also acquires new powers. Besides having better promotional value, the EIC also offers never-before-given services, such as work permits to foreigners, duty free privileges, centralized trading services and additional notarization services that lessen the strenuous process of investing. This means that processes that previously took weeks, even months, will now take a week or less, says Fitsum.
The EIC accommodates other service providers relevant for investors at its facilities. These include the Ethiopian Development Bank (EDB), the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), the Ethiopian Immigration Authority and the Ethiopian Customs & Revenues Authority (ERCA). The Privatization & Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PEPSA) also moved out of the EIC building, creating more space, said Fitsum.
“This might seem like a small matter, but it is not. For example, the acquisition of a tax identification number (TIN), which used to be arduous and time consuming, will now take about 30 minutes,” Fitsum claimed.
The EIC was ranked 125th by the World Bank out of 189 countries for ease of work, in the 2014 Doing Business report.
The ATA was established to promote agricultural sector transformation, through supporting existing structures in order to systematically address hurdles in attaining growth and food security.

Source: Addis Fortune, 19 October 2014

news diplomacy1Ethiopia's economic diplomacy has made the country a desirable investment destination, disclosed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

According to MoFA Spokesperson, Ambassador Dina Mufti, the current diplomacy of the country unlike in the past regimes is economic centered.

Ethiopia's diplomacy was framed 20 years ago in such a way as to support the country's efforts to extricate itself from poverty, he said.

Ethiopia's diplomacy is guided not by ideological affiliation to states and parties but based on the economic benefits that emanate from the relationship, said Ambassador Dina.

Activities have been underway to strengthen relations with countries, educational institutions, governmental and non- governmental organizations, and the mass media, he indicated.

Instead of categorizing states by their ideological orientation as in the past, the current diplomacy of the country focuses on the benefits it can get from export, investment, tourism, technology transfer, development assistance and aid, he added.

The trade and investment relation which was only limited to China, India and other Eastern countries has now expanded to European countries, the US, Australia and South American countries, Ambassador Dina disclosed.

The recently held Ethiopian ambassadors, consul- generals and directors' summit has also set directions on how to further bolster the economic diplomacy, he stated.

Supporting activities with technology, creating skilled manpower, modernization and mobilizing the Diaspora were also the major areas of focus.

MoFA Business Diplomacy Director-General Kebede Abera on his part said the Ministry is working in collaboration with various stakeholders, including Ethiopian Investment Agency and Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association, to consolidate the efforts to attract foreign direct investment.

Kebede pointed out that the coming of various world leaders to the country accompanied with investors attests to the success of the diplomatic efforts.
The director- general said the number of foreign investors who came to Ethiopia for feasibility study was 365 in 2005 E.C. The number grew to more than 1,000 in 2006 E.C.

The realization that they can make profit in Ethiopia and the country's growing say in continental and global forums are the factors for the growth, according to the director-general.

Source: ENA