18 April 2018

Ethiopia: Government Affirms Provision of Foreign Currency

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed has affirmed his government's commitment to provide foreign currency for strategic investment projects and business.

In the discussion he held with members of the private sector, the Prime Minister said the government is working to enhance reserves to offer a dependable foreign currency for priority sectors.

Dr. Abiy noted that the government put in place directions to control black market's adverse impact in foreign currency reserves in the view to provide sufficient finance to strategic projects.

The Premier said that Ethiopia has faced similar challenges that any developing country could encounter during economic transformation and called on the effective use of foreign currency.

Stating the support from business people is critical to address the foreign currency shortage, Dr. Abiy called on the private sector to support efforts being exerted to ensure a dependable allocation.

He said: "Effective use of the existing foreign currency is essential for the national economy and the business community have the utmost responsibility in allocating the hard currency in strategic investments and reducing luxury imports."

The Premier further noted that consensus was reached in various government organs to reduce the ineffective use of foreign currency and has urged the business persons shun excessive expenditures to supplement the reserve.

Representing the business community, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations Engineer Melaku Ezezew said that foreign currency shortage is the major challenge country's export trade has been encountered.

The President called on the government provide sufficient finance for strategic investments such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and other labor-intensive projects.

Engineer Melaku further stated that due attention should be given to address black market-related problems ensure a reliable provision of foreign currency for investment projects and businesses.

Stressing the need to make integrated efforts by all stakeholders, the President affirmed the private sector's keen interest to supplement foreign currency reserves.

The business community desirous to support government's efforts to address foreign reserves shortage through exporting value added items and controlling luxury expenditures, he noted.

Translated BY BILAL DERSO

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