Public-Private Dialogue between foreign businesses and Ethiopian government is in its final stage of preparation

Posted in News

The development of the second public-private dialogue (PPD2) has seen two key issues distilled for discussion with the relevant high-level Ethiopian authorities; taxation& auditing and logistics & clearance. EUBFE, which co-chairs the technical team comprising of foreign business associations tasked at developing the issues for PPD, has worked tirelessly to collect, analyze and finally present the final list of challenges to the Ethiopian Investment Commission for approval. As soon as date for the high-level PPD is decided, members shall be informed. It is to be recalled that the previous PPD deliberated on Forex and Business Visa issues with the National Bank of Ethiopia and the Immigration and Nationality Affairs Authority, resulting in a the introduction of numerous forex management directives and the launch of e-visa.

EUBFE represented EU businesses in Ethiopia at a global summit of EU Chambers in Brussels

Posted in News

EBOWWN 1

EUBFE took part in an annual summit of global European Chambers of commerce hosted by the European Commission’s Directorate for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROW). The three days summit brought together more than 30 Eurochambers from around the globe with EUBFE among the three active Eurochambers in Africa to attend.

Two days of the summit were dedicated to discussions with representatives of the various European Commission’s directorates and representatives of the EU parliamentarians regarding improved collaboration between EU chambers and EU trade negotiations, future plan of the commission and potential for collaboration and other pertinent developments that are relevant to EU businesses operating outside the EU economic zone.

The concluding date saw general assembly meeting of European Business Organizations Worldwide network (EBOWWN), to which is a full member since 2017. The EBO Worldwide Network stands as the sole organization representing European business interests in markets outside the European Union. It represents a network active in over 35 key markets that serves European multinationals, as well as micro, small, medium and large enterprises. European chambers of commerce and European business associations within the EBO Worldwide Network work on a daily basis with European Union delegations across the globe in the shared interest of supporting European companies.

EBOWWN 2

Where does EU investment size stand in Ethiopia? Draft report presented following general assembly meeting and networking of EUBFE

Posted in News

Partial View of Participants1 

On April 13, 2018 EUBFE members held their first annual meeting which was followed by thematic networking.

The event saw an annual activity and financial report of 2017 and plans for 2018 by the executive director, Mr. Nahom F. Abraham. External audit report was part of the report by the executive director. The general assembly ratified both planning for 2018 and audit report.

Following the general assembly meeting, a presentation on the findings of the EU business mapping study conducted in collaboration between EU delegation and EUBFE was made by Mr. Carl Daspect, economic attaché at the EUD-Ethiopia.

In his presentation Mr. Carl indicated that the goal of this joint study is to periodically measure the level of EU investments in Ethiopia so that the joint work of EUD and EUBFE in the dialogue with Ethiopian authorities can be facilitated and more targeted. In addition to the EU business mapping study, two sectoral analyses (pharmaceutical and logistics) were developed and made available to EUBFE members.

Despite significant challenges in availability and reliability of data as well as disparities in definitions and standards of FDI, the draft report was able to depict a picture of EU investment size, employment trends, nature of ownership and geographical coverage. To this end, the report found that the EU block investment stands third in terms of FDI stock position, behind Chinese and Turkish investment, with an FDI stock of approximately 310 mln USD. 70% of EU investments are in the manufacturing sector, a priority sector of the Ethiopian government, creating more than twenty thousand permanent and close to thirty thousand temporary job opportunity. About 60% of EU investments are in Addis Ababa with the Oromia region accounting for about 27%. Unlike other FDI, EU investments were found to account to about 50% joint investment form, indicating willingness and interest of EU companies to collaborate with local ones. Following comments and suggestions by participants, Mr. Daspect reiterated that the final draft shall incorporate the suggestions made during the event with the refined report made available soon.

 Second Pic1

 

 

The Commissioner of the Ethiopian Commission and the head of the EU delegation to Ethiopia delivered key note addresses at the EUBFE thematic networking event

Posted in Events

Networking 23 Networking 22

EUBFE was honored with the presence of HE Dr. Belachew Mekuria, Commissioner-Ethiopian Investment Commission and Ambassador Johan Borgstam, Head-EU Delegation for Ethiopia on its thematic networking event held on July 13, 2018. The event was co-hosted by the Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA), a national member association of EUBFE. It drew significant participants from the business as well as the diplomatic community.

Ambassador Johan started off by congratulating Dr. Belachew on his appointment to lead the Ethiopian Investment Commission. He also reiterated on the positive changes the country is going through, with more conducive business environment on the horizon. He also congratulated the successes EUBFE has continued to achieve and encouraged continuous productive engagement with the Ethiopian authorities.  

In his opening remark Chairman of EUBFE Mr. Ben Depraetere highlighted the current developments in the country and the challenges EU businesses face. He also pointed out success stories of previous high-level engagements with authorities of the Ethiopian government such as resolving business visa challenges, promising reforms within ERCA. He, however stressed the need to urgently addess the forex allocation unpredictability. The joint steering committee with the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) has been successful in tackling recurrent challenges EU businesses face on a regular basis.

 HE Dr. Belachew’s address

 HE Dr. Belachew on his part addressed the audience following the ambassador’s speech. He started off by appreciating the congratulatory remarks and for the opportunity to address EU businesses. He highlighted the positive developments the country is witnessing including the peace treaty with Eritrea and opening of various sectors for FDI, including the logistics sector. He appreciated the quality of investment from EU zones in relation to technology transfer and job creation. He also indicated that preparation for the EU-Ethiopia investment summit planned to be held in Brussels is underway and the date will be communicated shortly.

 Networking 2

How can EU businesses be of assistance?

 The floor was open for Q&A following his address to which the commissioner made candid explanations. Questions raised include recurrent power-cuts, issues on import substitution not being viewed on equal terms as exports, significant disparity in services rendered by investment bureau in regional governments as opposed to federal one as well as general challenges businesses in the manufacturing sector face. In his response HE Dr. Belachew said power-cuts are mainly due to old grid-lines to which the government is working on modernizing. He concurs a lot needs to be done to substitute imports and encourage manufacturing, in general. A tax regime review can be on instrument in this regard. Regional governments are politically committed to promoting FDI, although it can be the case that the bureaucratic bottlenecks do remain a challenge. HE Dr. Belachew was particularly pleased with one concluding question from participants asking him “how can we be of assistance to the EIC?”. He believes not much has been done to learn and make use of the knowledge from within EU businesses and promised improved engagement in this regard.

 

 Networking 24Networking 25

 

Farewell Chris and Carl

The official address was followed up by a farewell note to the founding board chairman of EUBFE Mr. Chris De Muynck and the departing economic attaché of the EU Delegation Mr. Carl Daspect. As a token of appreciation for their relentless efforts in elevating EUBFE to its current status, the chairman of EUBFE awarded both with a local artwork.

Mr. Chris was the founding chairman of the EUBFE, guiding the association into becoming an umbrella EU chamber with strong working relations with the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs authority as well as the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Together with the outgoing economic attaché of the EUD Mr. Carl Daspect, he led EUBFE into becoming member of the global network of EU chambers. The EUBFE community extends its warmest gratitude to immense contributions of both Mr. Chris De Muynck and Mr Carl Daspect.

 

The event continued with informal networking and cocktail reception until 7:40 pm during which members of ENLBA and EUBFE mingled with other guests and invited diplomatic community .

 

 

 

Panel discussion on the impact of the recent Ethiopian Birr devaluation

Posted in Events

On December 8th, 2017, the EUBFE, together with the American Chamber of Commerce in Ethiopia, organised an event to discuss the impact of the recent Birr devaluation.
 
Dr. Yohannes Ayalew, Vice Governor and Chief Economist at the National Bank of Ethiopia, Nora Dihel, Senior Economist at the World bank and Prof. Alemayehu Geda, Lecturer at Addis Ababa University presented their respective views and findings. A lively Q&A followed with members of the business associations.
 
IMG 3810-min
 

Investment Policy Dialogue

Posted in Events

On November 29th, 2017, took place the first Investment Policy Dialogue between the Ethiopian administration and foreign business communities. Representatives from the Ethiopian Investment Commission, the National Bank of Ethiopia and from the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs were present as well as members of the American, Chinese, Dutch, EU, French and Indian business communities.


The two topics at the agenda were (i) improving the allocation of forex and (ii) better immigration procedures. Following initial recommendations made by the business communities in June 2017, both Immigration and NBE came prepared to the meeting offering concrete solutions and commitments. EIC and the business communities also agreed on the steps forward in order to keep this Public-Private Dialogue productive and sustainable.

Intellectual Property rights protection in Ethiopia

Posted in Events

On September 6th, 2017, the EUBFE together with Mehrteab Leul & Associates Law Office, held a session on the protection of Intellectual Property rights under Ethiopian law. Discussions centered on trademarks registration and protection.

European Business Organisation Worldwide Network (EBOWWN)'s Annual General Assembly

Posted in Events

The EUBFE participated from June 19 to June 21 to EBOWWN's AGM where its application to become a member of the organisation was accepted. By joining EBOWWN, the EUBFE will benefit from best practices sharing, will establish itself as the official representative of the EU business community in Ethiopia and will be able to raise important issues faced by EU businesses in developing countries. More information on EBOWWN can be found on its website (wwww.ebowwn.eu)
 
Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 3.16.12 PM-2

EUBFE 1st Thematic Breakfast

Posted in Events

On June 14th, 2017, the EUBFE held its first Thematic Breakfast, at the Ramada Addis. The Guest Speaker, H.E Dr. Yohannes Ayalew - Chief Economist and Vice Governor of Monetary Stability at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) presented the view of the NBE on FOREX, notably regarding: (i) current conditions; (ii) considered solutions by the NBE to improve the situation; and (iii) forecast for the short to medium-term. A lively Q&A session followed.
 
IMG 3299-min

EUBFE Official Launching

Posted in Events

On March 29th, 2017, the European Union Business Forum in Ethiopia (EUBFE) celebrated its official launching, following its formal registration as 'Foreign Investors Association' under Ethiopian law. The registration shall facilitate the work towards achieving EUBFE's main mission: to improve the business environment in Ethiopia in order to enhance commercial and economic ties between the EU and Ethiopia.
 
The EUBFE was initially established in 2012, with the support of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia, in response to the need for (i) a sustained dialogue between the EU business community and the Ethiopian authorities; and (ii) a platform for networking and information-sharing between EU businesses. Over the past five years, the EUBFE has become a respected unified platform of EU investors in Ethiopia, an excellent source of information for existing and potential EU investors, and has become increasingly engaged in an open and constructive dialogue with the Ethiopian government on systemic issues affecting the business climate in the country.
 
In order to celebrate this new chapter in the relationship between the EU business community and Ethiopia, representatives from the Ethiopian administration, EU embassies and EU companies participated to the launching ceremony organised at the Sheraton Addis.
 
Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 9.26.15 AM-min

New Memorandum of Understanding with ERCA

Posted in Events

In December 2016, the EUBFE signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ERCA in order to facilitate information-sharing and to provide a channel for the EU business community to raise its issues and to express its remarks and questions. The new MoU notably set-up a Steering Committee in charge of ensuring the effectiveness of the MoU and to facilitate discussions. 
 
IMG 2834

EUBFE 4th Year Anniversary

Posted in Events

On June 28th, 2016, the EUBFE celebrated its 4th Year Anniversary. This event was also the the opportunity for the EUBFE to sign a Cooperation Agreement with the Ethiopian Investment Commission, represented by H.E Commissioner Fitsum Arega, a first step towards full recognition by the Government of Ethiopia.

3rd Thematic Cocktail

Posted in Events

On March 10th, 2016, the EUBFE organised its 3rd thematic cocktail. Ato Nebiyou Samuel, Head of the Director General's Office at the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) presented the Authorized Economic Operators program and the Electronic Single Window System. The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A and a networking cocktail.

The Economist - Ethiopia Summit

Posted in Events

The EU Business Forum in Ethiopia supports the Ethiopia Summit, organised by The Economist. With the general elections firmly behind us and the incumbent pressing on with Ethiopia's economic advances, the Economist Ethiopia Summit will take place at an optimum time. By bringing together the country's leading policy makers and business leaders with multinational executives active or interested in expanding in Ethiopia, opportunities will be explored and challenges tackled.
face booklinkedin