The country which has made great strides to become one of Africa's fastest growing economies recently held a conference and business exhibition on enhancing the investment and business climate in Ethiopia’s capital. With the aim to explore solutions to improve the business climate in Ethiopia, the conference brought together Ethiopian government representatives, the European Union Delegation and Member States officials.
According to Chris de Muynck, president of the EU Business Forum in Ethiopia, the conference highlighted challenges facing the East African business environment.
“There are a number of them [challenges] and the four major challenges which came out as a result of an inquiry which we surveyed are liberal issues, customs, taxes and business licenses but there are some more but this were the four major ones,” Muynck said.
The conference also highlighted best practices in the fields of foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion, the changes that the Ethiopian government has made among others.
“The conference didn’t give any solutions right at the moment but they [Ethiopian government representatives] listened very carefully and they reacted positively. So all this impediment’s will be put into enquiry and then we will probably talk to them and dialogue in order to find the solutions to the issues raised,” Muynck stated.
Muynck further added that there is a lot of foreign investment coming into the country, and Europe still remains one of the bigger investors in Ethiopia.
“Over the number of years there is now actually more than 450 million Euros invested by EU investors in Ethiopia, creating about so much more than 400,000 jobs. So in ranking I believe it is (EU) the number two important investor in Ethiopia,” Muynck said.
According to June’s World Investment Report, Ethiopia was the third largest recipient FDI in Africa in 2013. The Eastern Africa witnessed a 240 per cent increase from the amount it received in 2012. As of June this year FDI inflow to the country had reached 953 million US dollars.