EU-Ethiopia business conference, Exhibition opens in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa, 2 October 2014 (WIC) – To explore solutions to improve the business climate in Ethiopia a conference opened today (October 2, 2014) in Addis Ababa.The Conference was organized by the EU Business Forum-Ethiopia (EUBFE) in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Ethiopia and the ACP Business Climate Facility (BizClim).

The conference and business exhibition entitled, “Enhancing the Investment and Business climate in Ethiopia”, has brought together Ethiopian Government representatives, European Union Delegation and Member States officials as well as members of the business community in Ethiopia.

EU being Ethiopia’s main trading partner, there are currently around 300 European companies active in Ethiopia, making it a key investor for this fast-growing African economy, according to the press statement from the organizers.

Chairman of the EUBFE, Chris de Muynck, said, “There is a lot of foreign investment coming in, and Europe is still one of the bigger investors in Ethiopia. Things are changing, and Ethiopia is one of what they call the ‘tigers of Africa’.”

A contributor to this investment is BizClim, which undertakes initiatives in ACP countries, including Ethiopia, to boost development and improve investment in this part of the world, in cooperation with national governments, local stakeholders and the European Union.

Results of a study that has been carried out on the top challenges facing EU investors in Ethiopia, including Taxation, Business Licensing, Customs and Foreign Exchange, is expected to be announced at the conference.

“As well as discussing the main impediments for business, according to the EU companies surveyed, the conference will highlight best practices in the fields of FDI promotion and challenges on licensing procedures as well as the changes that the Government of Ethiopia has made and plan to make in the future, in order to attract more FDI to Ethiopia,” the statement noted.

Chargée d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation, Barbara Plinkert, and Chairman of the EUBFE, Chris de Muynck, have addressed the conference.
The EUBFE was set-up in response to the need for both a platform for networking and information exchange between EU businesses and a systematic dialogue with the Ethiopian authorities.

The EUBFE operated under the umbrella of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia. It is managed by a Steering Committee of 10 to 12 members representing the EU business community in Ethiopia and is headed by a Bureau made of a Chairman, a Treasurer and a Secretary.

The EU Business Forum in Ethiopia aims to make it easier for existing EU companies to do business in Ethiopia. (newbusiness)

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