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Ethiopia Preferred Location for Investment

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With a population nearing 95 million people, The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a beacon for foreign direct investment (FDI).

This is a big country with big aspirations for future prosperity and invites you to be a part of this great adventure.

Being one of sub-Sahara Africa’s fastest growing economies and endowed with huge natural resources, it is no surprise the amount of increasing interest Ethiopia has stirred up among foreign investors all over the world. A Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 11% is not something you ignore easily.

Some other useful facts include that Ethiopia has an area of 1.14 million square kilometres, 513,000 sq mts of arable land and 34,000sq mts of irrigated land.

The country remains an untapped and unexploited market and with this in mind the government has continued to build infrastructure to complement the path it has charted out in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).

The world is already suitably impressed with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam projects that will accelerate the country’s ability to provide adequate electricity which is a prerequisite to rapid economic growth.

Addis Ababa is the only city in the region to have a metro light train to ease commuting. Still undergoing tests, the new $475 million light railway system will also enhance Addis as a cosmopolitan city and home to the African Union as well as other United Nations regional offices.

This profile has attracted a steady flow of investment capital. China, India, Sudan, German, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United States are among the major sources of FDI.

Ethiopia’s economy is based on agriculture which accounts in 2012/13 for about 42.9% of GDP, 90% of the foreign exchange earnings and 85% of employment.

Generally, the overall economic growth of the country has been highly associated with the performance of the agriculture sector.

The industrial sector which mainly comprises of small and medium enterprises, accounts for about 12.$ of GDP during 2012/13.

Similarly the service sector is made up of hotels and restaurants, finance, real estate, and accounts of 45.2% during the same year.

However there is plenty of room for other sectors to grow towards a truly integrated economy. Ethiopia’s long term plan is to be one of the leading nations in light manufacturing. This is why the government revamped the former Ethiopian Investment Agency.

The new Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) is a government agency established to promote, encourage and facilitate private investments in general and foreign investment in particular in Ethiopia. EIC operates as a one-stop-shop for all investment needs in Ethiopia.

You may be asking yourself; why invest in Ethiopia? Well, the reasons are listed below;

*Political and social stability

*Macroeconomic stability and a rapidly growing economy

*An excellent climate and fertile soils

* A private sector-friendly government

*An abundant and trainable labour force

*Labour laws of international standard

*Strategic location at the crossroads between Africa, the Middle East and Asia

*Competitive incentive packages

*No tolerance for corruption

*The lowest crime rate in Africa

*Simple and transparent investment approval procedures.

However this is not all, investing in Ethiopia allows you to access a large domestic market, the 19 countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and 400 million people. Being located in Ethiopia also means your products can take advantage of the preferential terms under the US government’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) or the Everything But Arms (EBA), under the auspices of the European Union

Ethiopia’s infrastructure spending, as a percentage of GDP, is the highest in Africa. The Ethiopian government rightfully makes the delivery of infrastructural services, such as transport and energy, a focus of its development plan.

In the 2012/13 fiscal year, Ethiopia’s economy grew by 9.7%, the tenth year in a row of robust growth. In 2012, Ethiopia was the twelfth fastest growing economy in the world and the trend is continuing.(source allAfrica)

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