– EU Chamber issues two policy briefs to Ethiopian gov’t
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s export to Europe steadily grew at an annual rate of six percent over the last years under the European Union’s ‘Everything But Arms’, (EBA) agreement, the bloc’s ambassador to Ethiopia revealed.
The ambassador’s remark came at the forum organized by the EU Chamber in Ethiopia here yesterday. During the event, the Chamber announced two policy briefs on forex disbursement and customs administration aiming at improving Ethiopia’s business climate.
Speaking at the occasion, EU Ambassador to Ethiopia Roland Kobia said the country has become a meaningful player in the European market and capitalized on EBA efficiently.
“The EU has kept this preferential trade treatment, which is unilateral, which is non-reciprocal, only to the benefit of Ethiopia. When it comes to having no customs duties, 0 percent of customs duties for all products of Ethiopia are exported to the EU, and also no quantitative restrictions.”
The ambassador further noted that Ethiopian exports under the EBA have been growing on an average of six percent and in the last five years only, the country’s total value of exports to the EU was at approximately 140 billion Birr.
Most strikingly, the exports to the EU grew the fastest last year, by 47 percent increase,” he said, adding over the last decade, the total investment stock of European companies in Ethiopia has reached 2 .5 billion euros. “These investments create direct jobs for more than 115, 000 Ethiopians.”
European Chamber Board Chairman for Ethiopia Ben Depraetere said they have issued two policy briefs titled ‘solving the crunch: Recommendations for Forex challenges’ and ‘Optimizing customs processes’ to the Ethiopian government. The documents cover key issues including challenges that foreign and domestic investors have been facing in Ethiopia and presenting policy recommendations to the government.
“The research documents do not aim at all potential pathways for addressing the researched challenges,” the chairman noted, adding that the recommendations are rather focused on creating a platform for further discussion through public- private dialogue. “The whole purpose is to identify those areas that are open for further improvement.”
“A few months from now we will see the launch of two more policy briefs on the topics of taxation and access to land, he remarked.”
The EU Chamber in Ethiopia in collaboration with Business Environment and Investment Climate, including e- government (BEIC) project has launched an Investors’ Guide to Ethiopia’s business environment with all the necessary details, announced at the event.
BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD FRIDAY 1 DECEMBER 2023