Council Of Ministers Approves Investment, Privatization Bills

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet has approved three draft bills in a bid to improve Ethiopia’s investment, privatization and tax systems.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Office of the Prime minister said the 76th regular session held on Saturday first discussed the draft investment law.

The bill aims at helping accelerate Ethiopia’s economic development and sustain growth by enhancing the role and encouraging the private sector.

The bill was drafted by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) in collaboration with other offices.

The draft law targets expediting economic competitiveness, export diversification and creating more employment opportunities.

The Ethiopian Investment Commissioner, Abebe Abebayehu, said the draft bill will have a major impact on the economy.

“The new draft law modernizes investment regulatory & administrative framework; aligns with economic reform agenda; & devises faster & transparent grievance handling,” he said in a twitter message.

After an in-depth discussion and some adjustment, the Council referred the draft law to the House of Peoples’ Representatives for approval, the PM’s office’s statement said.

Saturday’s regular session also approved and referred privatization and excise tax bills to Ethiopian lawmakers.  Ministry of Finance drafted both bills.

The draft privatization law targets to sustain economic growth and transformation in the country, and create a favorable investment climate for the private sector.

Raising funds for infrastructure, give more space to the private sector and increase the competitiveness of state-owned enterprises are the other aims of the government when they approved by lawmakers.

The government also hopes to boost collecting revenues from taxes imposed on specific items as well as curbing illicit trade and smuggling, among others, with the new excise tax bill.

The council concluded Saturday’s session with a direction to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to revise the current trade registration and licensing directive to make starting business in Ethiopia easy.

The bill should make trade registration and licensing services simple, efficient, cost-effective and accessible, said the PM’s office statement.

Image: The council ministers held its 76th regular session on Saturday. Photo PMEthiopia