President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Dr. Mulatu Teshome said Ethiopia has become the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa.
The seventh International Conference on Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices was launched here yesterday with the theme 'Africa the future pulse and oil seeds supply'. Speaking on the occasion, President Mulatu indicated that most recent The United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report showed that FDI flow to Ethiopia increased by 46 percent this year to reach 3.2 billion USD despite the decline in interest throughout the rest of Africa.
He further added such economic performance is the lucid manifestation of the government's commitment in undertaking major policy reforms and public investments over the past decade that has resulted in a growing and dynamic private sector.
The President also noted that the government would continue its efforts in policy and regulations refinement across wide range of sectors to avoid business operation barriers. Large expansion in physical infrastructure and significant investment in social infrastructure to build a strong human capital base are major targets of the government to motivate the private sector and attract more FDI, according to him.
The agricultural export performance data of the last ten years indicate that oilseeds and pulse subsectors have recorded 1.7 percent increment in volume, 8.14 in value and 20.10 average growth rates respectively. "The increment observed is not only in export volume and value but also in the number of destination countries," noted the president.
Bekele Bulado, Minister of Trade for his part said that the government is committed to see the private sector play a crucial role in the sector and be the back bone of the nation's economy.
He noted that the nation is trying to establish an efficient marketing system and there exists a highly profitable investment opportunity in Ethiopia.
Different trading, import and export companies who contributed 22 to 13 million USD to the nation's forex earnings in the last fiscal year were awarded on the ceremony.