GLOBALink | Ethiopia eyes more Chinese investments in priority sectors-Xinhua

GLOBALink | Ethiopia eyes more Chinese investments in priority sectors

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-06-15 20:56:47

ADDIS ABABA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- A senior Ethiopian government official has said that Ethiopia expects a growing number of Chinese investments across various priority development sectors.

Lelise Neme, Commissioner for the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), told Xinhua that the East African country has strategized different perspectives toward attracting more potential Chinese investors by facilitating and easing the country's investment ecosystem, mainly across selected priority investment sectors.

"I believe that more Chinese investments will come to Ethiopia because Ethiopia has a big potential. We are a gateway for Africa as well. Not only that, we have strategized different perspectives of attracting more investors by changing our regulations and proclamation," Neme told Xinhua.

According to the EIC Commissioner, in the short term, the Ethiopian government is working to attract potential Chinese and other foreign investors to invest inside the premises of industrial parks that were built across the East African country.

"We believe and want more Chinese investors can bring their capital, and share their technology and know-how to our country. Our country is ready to attract them and accept them," Neme said.

She said the Ethiopian government has facilitated "a plug-and-play environment" in the industrial parks for potential Chinese investors, particularly in the pharmaceutical, medical equipment and manufacturing sectors.

The Ethiopian government has outlined five priority investment sectors that include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, information communication technology (ICT) and the mining sectors.

"All the five sectors are critical for Chinese; and I hope they will come with those five priority sectors that we are setting," Neme said.

She, however, affirmed that Chinese investors are not only abounded in Ethiopia's priority sectors, and they can also tap into Ethiopia's potential to penetrate the wider continental and global market in line with its strategic location within the international market.

"There is a huge new technology that is being discovered every day. So, we believe they can come with their opinion or perspective of investment so that they can invest in our country," she said.

Last month, the EIC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Investment Cooperation with its Chinese counterpart at a China-Ethiopia Investment and Trade Cooperation Forum that was co-hosted by the EIC, the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of China in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

According to the EIC Commissioner, the latest MOU will serve as a new cooperation mechanism to promote investment cooperation and inject new impetus to the collaboration of the two countries.

Recalling China's commitment to encouraging its businesses to invest no less than 10 billion U.S. dollars in Africa in the next three years that was announced at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in November last year, Neme said the Ethiopian government aspires to attract more Chinese investors under the common priority sectors.

"We, as Ethiopia, want to take the major share of the investment that has been dedicated for Africa so that we can attract more investors towards the different sectors that we are aiming to have with the major priority sectors," she said.

Neme further emphasized that the Ethiopian government has been working aggressively to alleviate some of the challenges that investors encounter in their engagements in Ethiopia.

Neme said the Ethiopian government had earlier this year launched an innovative strategy, dubbed an "After-Care Strategy," that aimed to ease investment bottlenecks by working hand-in-hand with the investors.

She said the Ethiopian government has also established foreign direct investors solution provider technical committee, which is led by the EIC and the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and brings together all government ministries and institutions that are related to foreign investors.

China has been Ethiopia's largest trading partner and biggest source of investment for many consecutive years. Ethiopia is also tapping into Chinese investors to boost its export potential both to China and elsewhere across the globe.

According to figures from the EIC, despite the impact of COVID-19, some 30 Chinese investment projects have commenced implementation in Ethiopia during the first nine months of the current 2021/22 Ethiopian fiscal year which will end on July 7.

In 2021, bilateral trade volume reached 2.66 billion U.S. dollars, of which, China imported commodities of nearly 370 million U.S. dollars from Ethiopia, a year-on-year increase of 8.1 percent, according to EIC data.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service


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