European Union Business Forum Ethiopia

The EU Business Forum in Ethiopia aims to facilitate operations for EU companies doing business in Ethiopia.
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On Saturday, July 6, 2019, following an invitation from the Ethiopian...
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As a member of global alliance of EU Chambers called European Business...
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The online portal intends to provide services including: request for new...
Events
The EU-Ethiopia business forum took place in Brussels, attracting some...

The Ethiopian Investment Commission Launched online portal to service investment permits and renewals

The online portal intends to provide services including: request for new investment permit certificate, request for commercial registration certificate, application for expansion of existing investment permit or existing business license, application to renew investment permit and replace the investment permit certificate.

In addition, application for tax holiday incentive support of eligible projects, application for duty-free incentive support qualified projects were among the other services mentioned.

For more information please visit the web portal at https://www.invest-ethiopia.com/

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EUBFE took part in the annual summit of EU Chambers in Brussels

As a member of global alliance of EU Chambers called European Business Organizations Worldwide Network (EBOWWN), the EUBFE attended a general assembly meeting at the EU Commission from June 17-19, 2019.

In his opening remark, Mr. Eric Mamer, Director of DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) of the European Commission highlighted the key contributions European Chambers make to expanding EU companies’ reach to third markets. Moreover, the US-China trade war has also brought into about a potential paradigm shift on global trade focus on developing EU industrial policy that would support the internationalization of EU companies. Free Trade Agreements with various EU partners is also gaining traction as a result.

The three-day intensive meeting saw election of new board members for EBOWWN, bilateral meetings with DG for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), DG for Energy (DG ENER), European External Action Service (EEAS) as well as Business Europe and Eurochambers. The discussion focused on EU’s position on internalization of EU businesses, funding plans on the new MFF in this connection as well as possibilities for cooperation on sustainable energy investments with Africa. Two visits at the EU parliament also saw delegates from EBOWWN discussing with representatives of parliamentarians and commissioners on the state of affairs of the ever-expanding network of EU chambers and how to cooperate further for maximum impact for companies who’ve invested outside the EU. EBOIMG 2714IMG 2732

EU Business Forum Provided Input on Consultation of the Draft Investment Law

On Saturday, July 6, 2019, following an invitation from the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), a consultative workshop was held on the draf of the Ethiopian Investment law. Some 200 companies, embassies and other development partners were invited to this meeting.
Representatives of the task force of 17 professionals set up to oversee the drafting of the law presented their findings followed by a question and answer session chaired by HE Abebe Abebayehu, commissioner of the EIC.
The presentation started with an outline of the method the task force applied in its review of the investment code.
Following this the working group presented some seven key policy implications for "Investment Policy White Paper". These are rethinking of long held assumptions on investments; revising goals for investment promotion in line with changing context; holistic approach to investment (both attraction and retention thereof); consider both foreign direct investment and domestic investment as one policy area; comparing a sector-specific approach to the general promotion of (foreign) investments; incentive schemes for investments and investment administration. This white paper has been prepared based on an analysis of current laws, a comparison with relevant other markets and based on various consultations. The white paper serves as the basis for the committee's final advice.
The subsequent presentation included the history of investment legislation and the international comparison about openness vs closedness of the market. Ethiopia currently has investment legislation in which some sectors are open to foreign investors, which often causes confusion regarding definition and definition. The committee's recommendation was that Ethiopia would benefit restrictive listing approach, where negative list would be outlined. Any sector that is not enumerated in the negative list is considered open for FDI, clarifying any potential confusion. In this connection, the committee recommended three components to sector specific listing; .
1. areas of investment for Joint Ventures with the government (such as weapons manufacturing, the entire electricity sector, postal services);
2. areas of investment reserved for domestic investors (such as banking and insurance, retail, import trade (excl. LPG and bitumen), wholesale, export trade (of raw coffee, chat oil seeds), bakeries.....,) and
3. areas of investment reserved for joint venture with domestic investors with equity cap (such as forwarding and shipping agency services, advertising, market research, audio-visual services, domestic transport services, accounting, mass media service, land public transport, making indigenous medicine..).
All sectors not mentioned in the list, which would become public shorty according to the presenters, will be fully open to foreign investors.
The third presentation dealt with the proposals on the legal and organizational duties of the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Several recommendations were made, some of which are; coordination between the Ethiopian Aviation Authority, the Ethiopian Energy Authority and the EIC in developing sector specific studies with a view to attracting foreign investors; setting clear and minimal grounds for revoking or suspending the investment licenses; expand one-stop-shop (OSS) service provided by the EIC to include post-investment full scope service as well as the creation of comprehensive grievance management system.
Moreover, a nine member Ethiopian Investment Board is also recommended to be established under the leadership of the PM and representatives of all relevant Ministries and one none-voting seat reserved for the private sector.
A question and answer session chaired by the Commissioner of the EIC followed, in which several questions and comments were raised by participants. The commissioner acknowledged the suggestions as important input into the draft law. The draft law will be publicly available once such comments have been incorporated, he also added.
Board members of EUBFE in collaboration with AmCham counterparts lodged a brief reflection on the consultative session to the management of the EIC. The brief recommendation is believed to be enriched once the draft investment law becomes public.Ethiopian-Investment-Commission- -law-reform-570x358

EUBFE Signed MoU with the Ministry of Revenue on the Occasion of its General Assembly

The Ministry of Revenue, represented by State Minister Mr. Mohammed Abdi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EU Business Forum and its member national business associations on May 2, 2019. The MoU is aimed at forging constructive dialogue between the Ministry of Revenue (MoR), as well as the Customs Commission (which is under the MoR), and members of EUBFE.  In his key note address, H.E. Mr. Mohammed welcomed the initiative to construct meaningful dialogue with EU businesses and encouraged those involved to work towards its fruition.

In this connection, a joint steering committee has been established that would compile, review and address challenges of members of EUBFE in connection with tax and customs. The committee will be led by the Head of the Office of the Minister of Revenue and will be composed of directors of various directorates of MoR and board members of EUBFE. The steering committee will commence its task within two weeks’ time of the signing of MoU.

The General Assembly meeting that preceded the signing of MoU approved annual report for 2018, audit report of external auditor, plan for 2019 and extended the appointment of the existing board members by a further two years. The event was attended by various guests from government as well as EU diplomatic community.

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