Ethiopia: Amb. Girma Biru to Lead Joint Forum to Tackle FDI Challenges

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a joint forum led by Ambassador Girma Biru, macroeconomic advisor to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, was established with a specific task of tackling challenges of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ethiopia.

Speaking at the opening of a panel organized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs today, Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew said that although the number of foreign investors willing to invest in Ethiopia has increased as of late, there is a wide gap that needs to be bridged in the proper handling of the inflow and overseeing the proper implementation of the sector.

Ambassador Girma Biru on his part said that it was essential to develop the country's capacity to tackle implementation problems and highlighted the need to establish an organized forum dedicated to cascade the needs and strategies based on the types of problems investors are facing in the country.

During the discussion it was highlighted that foreign investors in Ethiopia face multiple problems once they have entered the country. These include lack of security, lack of infrastructure, shortage of foreign currency, tax related bureaucratic bottlenecks, availability of land, licensing and other problems related with logistics.

Accordingly, today's panel at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to establish a joint forum comprised of relevant stakeholders and to be led by Ambassador Girma Biru. The forum's next meeting is scheduled to take place in the first week of February 2020.

The panel was attended by senior government officials, including Ahmed Shide, Finance minister and his deputy Eyob Tekalign; Abebe Abebayehu, commissioner, investment commission; as well as officials from the banking sector, including Yinager Dessie, the governor of National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), and Teklewold Atnafu, former governor of NBE. In addition Ambassador Girma Biru and other experts from the ministry of mines and energy, ministry of water and irrigation, ministry of agriculture and other officials from the sector. AS

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