Gov’t Working to Attract FDI by Establishing Special Economic Zones

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Addis Ababa (ENA) November 25/2022 The government of Ethiopia is working to strengthen international trade connectivity and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by establishing Special Economic Zones, according to Ethiopian Investment Commission.

In a bid to realizing this the government is set to modify the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Proclamation.

The commission held a discussion forum today with various government organizations to collect feedback on the draft proclamation.

The draft law is designed based on comparative advantage and priorities and thereby strengthens the country’s drive to attract foreign direct investment, create jobs, enhance trade and productive sectors, integrate into global value chains, and generate sustainable growth.

Speaking at the discussion, Ethiopian Investment Commissioner, Engineer Lelise Neme, said in its aim to make the country an industrial corridor, the government has been actively engaged in improving the business Eco system.

Hence, the development of industrial parks has continued to play a critical role in the countries’ strategy to transform the manufacturing sector, she said.

According to her, the 13 industrial parks constructed by the government have been making a significant contribution in supporting the country’s economy.

The purpose of the draft SEZ law is to promote regional and international trade ties by improving the ecosystem of free trade zones and industrial parks.

Speaking on his part, EIC Consultant, Dr, Habtamu Simachew, said the existing working environment of the industrial parks regime has restrictively focused on manufacturing industries-hence impending economic diversification and impact.

According to him, the draft modification is aimed at widening the sectoral scope of the current regulatory regime for similar zones, anchoring investment to embrace the broadest possible range of productive activities.

Habtamu further said that policy measures pursued within the framework of special economic zones can serve as vital tools to ease the country’s move towards trade liberalization in compliance with Ethiopia’s treaties and commitments under global and regional trade arrangements.

The draft law upon operation will help in respect of the establishment, development, operation and regulation of special economic zones in commercially suitable and strategic locations across the country through measures that effectively attract legitimate and productive investment.