Message from the Ethiopian Government
Africa with its impressive current and potential economic growth has become a focus for international investors, not least because of the continent is today hosting most of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Certainly, this growth has created enormous business opportunities to attract investors. The return on investment in Africa is higher than in most developed countries; the continent is rich in natural resources, and it is a largely untapped but burgeoning market with low penetration and great potential.
Ethiopia is among the list of fastest growing countries in Africa and indeed in the world. It is pursuing pragmatic and favorable policies laying down the basis for economic and social development. Notably, the Ethiopian Government also continues to recognize the private sector as a key partner in the development process. Ethiopia’s strategies have delivered double-digit growth for the last decade. It has, rightly, been praised as the fastest growing non-oil dependent country.
To sustain our development endeavors, we are determined to mobilize all available resources to the greatest extent possible. We attach great importance to promoting external trade and attracting foreign direct investment as important and central strategies in resource mobilization. Indeed, the Government has repeatedly made every effort to implement policies and strategies to position Ethiopia as an attractive destination for foreign investment.
To boost confidence in the economic system, Ethiopia is pursuing prudent and sound macroeconomic policies. We are securing appropriate bilateral investment agreements and double taxation treaties with many countries. We guarantee constitutional protection of investment from expropriation and we are signatory to the main international investment related institutions and other appropriate bodies.
Ethiopia offers a strong internal market. It has second largest population in sub-Saharan Africa. Its location at the crossroads between Africa, the Middle East and Asia and its membership of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), as well as the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), offer unparalleled regional market potential and provides a comfortable platform from which to access the region’s high growth markets. This potential is impressive enough but it is set to be boosted significantly by a number of major regional interconnection projects now being underway.
We are also making greater efforts to strengthen the capacity of our infrastructure and public utilities. We have one of the most ambitious road building programs in Africa, a program which is bringing large swathes of productive Ethiopia into the market economy. We have launched a major effort to produce green energy to provide for our own growth and that of our neighbors. We are endowed with abundant and diverse renewable energy resources, and Ethiopia is certainly an attractive destination for international investment in clean energy.
We are enthused by the ways Ethiopian government can work with you in mutually rewarding engagement that adds value and provides for mutual benefit for us all. We look forward to the further enhancement of business and investment relations. We believe this forum provides an excellent platform for both companies and government bodies to discuss new ideas, establish modern networks and strengthen existing ties.
All of this contributes to fostering the ethos of long-term, sustainable and responsible investment and business in Ethiopia and in Africa. This, we believe, is what Africa needs. Indeed, Africa is ready to stand on its own feet and take major steps forward, with the African Union and NEPAD offering the vehicles for further development. In this context, we believe the most important role of the Africa Investment Forum is to gather up the ideas of collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world, to respond to the ongoing dynamic development in Africa and create a robust platform and vehicle to facilitate the interaction of both public and private sectors.
We are confident that this Forum will help promote prosperous trade and investment between Africa and the international business community and help move the global development process forward toward a bright future. It will alert potential investors to the fact that Africa is positioned to serve their investment interests, offering the full benefit of its global interconnectedness.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank Messer Frankfurt GmbH, the African Union Commission, and the Pan Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the idea of holding this meeting and of co-organizing it so effectively.
We are pleased to have the opportunity to host the Africa Investment Forum and look forward to the expansion of Ethiopia’s investment and business relations for the benefit of all. We are also delighted to welcome participants from every part of the world to this Africa Investment Forum 2014, and we wish all a pleasant stay and successful deliberations here in Addis Ababa.
Debretsion Gebremichael (Ph.D.)
Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Cluster and Minister of Communication and Information Technology
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a centralized location and is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies with GDP growth of 10.3% in 2014.
In Addis Ababa are the headquarters of the African Union, PACC (Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry), UNECA (United Nations Economic Comission Africa) and many more global NGOs focused on Africa.
Ethiopia has an international airport in Addis Ababa which is a hub airport for the neighboring countries.