New Initiative Crucial to Make Ethiopia Investment Destination in Post COVID-19: Commissioner

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Addis Ababa December 1/2020 (ENA) The new investment initiative being implemented by the government will enable Ethiopia to position as an attractive investment destination in post-COVID-19, Ethiopian Investment Commissioner Lelissie Nemi said.

Briefing the diplomatic community today on the current investment reforms, Lelissie said the investment policy reforms undertaken since 2018, have focused on creating conducive environment for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Modernization of Ethiopia`s investment regime, creating user-friendly investment environment by improving ease of doing business and the decision to privatize state-owned enterprises were among the initiatives undertaken by the government, she said.

In January 2020, Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives approved a new investment proclamation, signaling a major shift in the country’s policy direction towards investment.

 “The new proclamation has opened sectors and activities that were previously closed to foreign investors. More importantly, the new investment regime has made it relatively easier for foreign investors to identify sectors where they are allowed to invest and has introduced a transparent dispute settlement mechanism” Lelissie stated.

Citing that similar approaches were also applied in reforming the procedures for starting a business, the commissioner said the aim is to improve the country`s performance in the World Bank`s Ease of Doing Business Index which is widely accepted by foreign investors as useful indicator of the affability of the domestic policy environment and administrative procedures for starting a business in a country.

“All these ambitious reforms along with the ongoing efforts to privatize state-owned enterprises in key sectors such as energy, telecom, services and manufacturing will enable Ethiopia to position itself as an attractive investment destination and kick-start the post COVID-19 recovery agenda”, Lelssie noted.

Despite all the challenges including COVID-19, externally generated shocks alongside internal challenges,  Lelissie said  “I am certain we can overcome them and create a more prosperous economy”.