Addis Ababa (ENA) November 24, 2022 There are indications that the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ethiopia, which has been on the increase despite the conflict in the north and COVID, would benefit from the recent peace deal, Investment Commissioner Lelise Neme said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the commissioner stated that FDI flow has been growing mainly because the government made various policy changes and reforms.
Previously, foreign investors could only invest in restricted sectors; but now the flow of foreign investors has increased due to the reform.
According to her, the new policy of opening up for foreign investment is part of the government’s economic reform to liberalize state-controlled sectors.
In line with this, the government granted a license to a private telecom operator last year to break the monopoly of the state-owned Ethio Telecom, which is one of the economy’s most lucrative sectors.
Lelise said the biggest achievement was the opening of the telecom sector and it indicates that Ethiopia is opening up to the private sector and committed to supporting them.
Following this the government also recently opened up the finance sector, which she pointed out is of great importance in overcoming the shortage of foreign exchange.
The commissioner also said that the government has formulated various aftercare strategies to help foreign investors from the beginning to the end of the process.
Aftercare team technical committee of experts have been established to respond to the demands of investors immediately, she stataed
Apart from this, the commitment of the government to helping and supporting foreign investors has contributed greatly, and FDI is improving in terms of the existing situation.
Therewithal, the recent peace agreement signed between the federal government and TPLF has encouraged foreign investors that have already started inquiring about potential areas of investment.
“After this agreement was signed, many investors have been making inquiries. Investors who did not come due to COVID-19 and conflict in the northern part of the country are coming in large numbers.”
The commissioner noted that peace is of course a great foundation for attracting FDI to a country.
“This is a great opportunity. We should all take advantage of this and need to provide the necessary services,” she underlined.
Efforts are being made to enable investors to enter industrial parks and different arrangements are being made in various regions to attract investors, it was learned.
The Ethiopian government has outlined five priority investment areas, namely agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, information communication technology (ICT) and mining.
Project-based investment attraction is also being done for investors who invest in health, logistics and energy sectors, which should be seen as alternative investments, the commissioner added.
The Ethiopian Investment Commission is also developing procedures that are free from human touch.
“The commission is working to provide online services from any place and location. Some services are still being provided online. For this reason, we are working with artificial intelligence to make our services online,” the commissioner finally said.