ADDIS ABEBA – A top investment official said the newly drafted investment law will open Ethiopia’s economy up for foreign investors further and attract foreign direct investment.
For many years, several sectors “have been closed for investors,” said Abebe Abebayehu, head of Ethiopian investment commission, while opening a discussion on the bill at Hyatt Regency on Thursday.
Foreign investors’ participation in aviation, bank, and telecom is still nonexistent. But, the revised draft law will enable foreign businesses to participate in almost all sectors, he told the participants.
Last year, officials say the amount of foreign direct flow to Ethiopia was over 3.3 billion USD.
That makes the country one of the top five FDI destination countries in Africa. But when compared to its potential, the amount is not much, according to experts.
Abebe said, revising the investment law together with the ongoing reforms will help Ethiopia attract more investment and create more job opportunities and competitiveness.
The revision aims at consolidating protracted rules and regulations on investment, revisit investment areas closed to the private sector, and Consolidate and rationalize the investment incentives regime, among others.
It is also aimed at supporting government’s privatization effort, Abebe said at the meeting that brought government stakeholders together.
The Abiy administration plans to sell stakes in major public enterprises including Ethiopian Airlines and Ethio telecom, and open up the country’s untapped markets for potential investment.
Thursday’s meeting, which was mostly held behind closed doors, was organized in a bid to collect inputs for the draft law. Consultation with the private sector and government’s development partners will also be held on Saturday, 06 July 2019.
By Mhret G/Kristos