Lawmakers Amend 60-year Old Commercial Code

ADDIS ABEBA – Members of parliament have today voted unanimously in favor of a bill that amended the 60-year-old Ethiopian Commercial Code.

Amending the commercial law has been a subject of various discussions for decades. But it finally became a subject of lawmakers discussion in March, last year.

The Council of Ministers sent the bill to amend the code to parliament after endorsing the bill which proposes sections of the code to be governed under separate legislation in June.

MP Meseret Abate, chairperson of Trade and Industry Affairs Standing Committee of the parliament, proposed the final draft of the proclamation and a proposal to the House on Thursday.

Despite various efforts to amend the trade law over the past 34 years, Meseret said the process took a major step closer when the document finally reached the house.

Since then, the Standing Committee has been reviewing the bill with the participation of relevant stakeholders, the chairperson said

The House finally approved the amended Commercial Law unanimously during their regular session held on Thursday morning.

Government officials believe the current state of trade in the country requires the need to have a more efficient system for traders, and the revised law would complement the modern systems of the global economy and technology.

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed said adopting the new Commercial Code “is a significant milestone in our endeavor to modernize and reform the country’s legal system” after his cabinet endorsed the bill.

The code “is geared towards spurring innovation and enterprise, which are essential in our aspiration to build a prosperous society,” he added.

Officials also say the provisions in the revised commercial code would address challenges that long hindered Ethiopia from joining the World Tourism Organization.