ADDIS ABABA – Ministry of Finance and European Union business forum in Ethiopia or EUBFE signed a memorandum of understanding to foster partnership between the government and EU companies doing business in Ethiopia.
The Mou was signed between State Minister of Finance, Semereta Sewasew and Chairperson of the Board of the Forum, Ben Depraetere, on Wednesday.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Ethiopian investment commission commissioner, Lelise Neme, and Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Roland Kobia.
The Ministry of Finance said the agreement would further increase the cooperation between the ministry and the EUBFE.
The newly signed agreement is expected to “facilitate close consultation to promote mutually beneficial objectives and collaboration” between the government and the Forum, according to the ministry.
The government of Ethiopia is keen to continue pursuing lines of open dialogues to strengthen the longstanding partnership, State minister Semereta said.
This partnership should focus on developing investment and the private sector as a key pillar of Cooperation, she added.
The minister said the government will continue to push ahead with its economic reform process and building institutes that can support the work of the private sector.
Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Roland Kobia, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said that European investment in Ethiopia has remained steady even during difficult periods.
Kobia expressed his hope that the Forum will continue to provide opportunities for the private sector to address its challenges through open dialogue with the government of Ethiopia.
The Ambassador also spoke about the Everything but Arms (EBA), an EU initiative under which all imports to the continent from the Least Developed Countries are duty-free. The initiative is an opportunity that is being used by several companies based in Ethiopia, he said.
The ambassador also emphasized that it is important for Ethiopia to achieve peace and predictability for the private sector to thrive.
Though the FDI flow from European countries is relatively low, the EU is one of the top destinations for Ethiopian export commodities, absorbing $308mn or 10 percent of total exports in 2020, according to a report by Cepheus Investment Advisory, a private equity firm.
Featured Image Caption: The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Ethiopian investment commission commissioner, Lelise Neme, and Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Roland Kobia. [Photo MoF]