ADDIS ABABA – Industry Minister Melaku Alebel has called on Indian investors to exploit opportunities availed by the ongoing economic reforms in Ethiopia to further increase their investments in the East African nation.
The Ethiopian Minister made the call on Tuesday while addressing the CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India- Africa Growth Partnership. The annual event organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries and EXIM Bank aims at advancing economic ties between Africa and India.
Minister Melaku noted the long-standing bilateral economic and trade relations between Ethiopia and India, mentioning, particularly, the sizable level of investment from the South Asian nation in the East African nation.
Melaku said Indian investments also have a substantial presence in Ethiopia accounting for $5 billion – of which $3 billion is estimated to be on the ground.
Their impact is also visible, according to Melaku who said India is among the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia. At least 650 Indian investments also employ more than 75,000 people, making them the second largest foreign employers in Ethiopia.
– Govt’s Push for More –
Melaku spoke about the ongoing economic reforms that aim at creating a private-sector-led economy as well as attracting foreign investments.
“We are implementing a Home-Grown Economic Reform Agenda and 10 years perspective plan to make Ethiopia a beacon of prosperity for Africa,” he said, “through macroeconomic reform that correct forex imbalance, control inflation, improve access to finance and ensure debt sustainability”.
The Minister also explained regulations and infrastructure put in place to attract foreign investment in a bid to make Ethiopia a manufacturing hub in Africa.
Ethiopia is, particularly, banking on its brand-new industrial parks, equipped with cheap electricity and other services, to attract foreign investments.
Melaku said there are 22 Industry Parks that specialize in priority sectors of manufacturing such as textile, leather, and agro-processing.
Their special focus is export-oriented products, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, and engineering as well as import substitution, the minister told the meeting held in New Delhi.
Apart from senior several high-level delegations from African countries, senior government officials of the host nation including Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attended this year’s Conclave – which the FM said, “would contribute to generating a buzz in the business communities of India and Africa for our mutual benefit”.
“Whether it is higher education or skill development, building stronger financial partnerships or strengthening value chains in agriculture and food processing, these are all significant sectors of cooperation between us,” Jaishankar added.
India is among the top five investors in Africa with cumulative investments of US$ 73.9 billion from 1996-2021. The bilateral trade between the two has also reached $89.5 billion in 2021-22 compared with $56 billion the previous year, according to the Indian foreign minister.