Roundup: Ethiopian gov't says EU-Ethiopia business forum to lure European investors

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ADDIS ABABA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Tuesday revealed that its business and investment promotion team at the European Union (EU)-Ethiopia Business Forum, which kicked off Tuesday in Brussels, envisaged to lure more European investors to Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), in a statement issued on Tuesday, disclosed that the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum, being held from May 14 to 15 in Brussels, capital of Belgium where the EU headquarters are located, would enhance European investments to the East African country.

"The Forum brings together European investors that have shown interest in investing in Ethiopia," said EIC Commissioner Abebe Abebayehu, describing the huge potential of the forum in attracting European investors to Ethiopia.

The commissioner also stressed that Ethiopia's "big market, abundant and competitive labor, huge potential for local sourcing of raw materials" are pull factors for investing in the country.

The East African country mainly envisaged to promote and attract European investors in various light-industry sectors that are given particular importance by the Ethiopian government in recent years, which include agro-processing, textile, apparel and leather, among others.

There are currently over 300 European companies that are active in Ethiopia, making Europe the second-largest investor in Ethiopia, next to investments from China, according to figures from EU's Delegation to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia's business and investment promotion team to the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum is said to include various high-level Ethiopian government officials as well as private sector representatives, led by Ethiopia's State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Markos Tekle, it was noted.

The Ethiopian business promotion team is mainly expected to "share first-hand information about doing business and investing in Ethiopia with some 100 attending European companies and trade-enabling organizations."

EU's Delegation to Ethiopia also on Tuesday disclosed that "attracting more European companies to Ethiopia is the objective of the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum 2019."

"With the Forum, the European Commission shows its support for the Ethiopian economic reform agenda and its commitment to the Africa-Europe Alliance," EU's Delegation to Ethiopia said in a statement on Tuesday.

The EU, in its development portfolio, mainly supports Ethiopia's national strategy, mainly in food security and agriculture, health, infrastructure, energy development as well as climate change endeavors.

The EU, in recent years, has also strengthened its focus in Ethiopia on areas related to job creation, industrial and agro-industrial parks, export and trade promotion and private sector development.

The EU's cooperation portfolio in the country is one of the largest in Africa, which stood at 715 million Euros for the 2014 to 2020 period, according to figures from the EU's Delegation to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is also one of the main beneficiaries of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, amounting 260 million Euros since 2015, it was noted. Enditem

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