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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Events
The EUBFE ratified several motions and elected new board members on...
Events
  On the conclusion of the annual summit of European Chambers in...
Events
      On April 6, 2022 EUBFE launched its maiden...
Events
As part of its strategic goal of supporting its advocacy engagement...

AGM and thematic networking held

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The EUBFE ratified several motions and elected new board members on the occasion of its annual general assembly of 2022. The AGM was hosted by Heineken breweries in their new headquarters. The executive director of EUBFE presented annual activity and audit report for FY 2021 as well as plans for 2022. 

Two motions were also presented for ratification were- the amendment of membership rules and a motion to change EUBFE's name to European Chamber in Ethiopia. The executive director and the board chairman explained to the general assembly on the background of the need for such motions. Both also responded to queries from members. After a brief deliberation, the two motions were unanimously endorsed by the general assembly. The third agenda was the election of new board members that would replace the one who served for the previous two years. Representatives of BASF Vegetable Seeds, TotalEnergies, Unilever, Heineken, Neumann Kaffe Gruppe, Krones-Ethiopia, Varnero Construction, Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association and French Business Club came forward to take up the responsibility at the board of EUBFE. All were unanimously elected to the board.

The last session of the afternoon was a presentation by a member law firm-BonellieErede- on the new investment incentive regulation vis-a-vis the old one. Following Q&A the day was concluded with a cocktail reception. The full content of the legal review that was presented at the thematic networking can be accessed below.

New Investment Incentives Regulation Summary by BonelliErede

EUBFE was elected to the board of European Business Organization Worldwide Network

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On the conclusion of the annual summit of European Chambers in third countires, held under the umbrella of the EBOWWN (European Business Organisations Worldwide Network), EUBFE was elected to the board of management to serve the network for the coming two years representing Africa-based European chambers. The summit which took place in Brussels from June 06-10 2022 via the support of European Commission's DG GROW (Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), saw European chambers engage with various Directorate Generals of the commission on pertinent issues faced by European companies in third markets. The first two days were dedicated for African EBOs (European Business Organisations), whereby the eleven chambers exchanged best practices and pledged to create a strong African chapter that can engage with external partners in a structured manner.
 
From 16-18 June, the various EBOs from  across the globe met and discussed with DG Trade, DG INTPA, DG , Business Europe, EuroChamber and DG CLIMA. The discussions with the various representatives of the commission informed the ensuing key steps of the network as well as create clarity on the depth of European businesses represented by this network. The last day of the summit was dedicated to AGM of EBOWWN members where the outgoing board presented its activity and financial reports, followiing which new board was elected. EUBFE was elected to lead the African voice given its stature and experience both in-country as well as on regional matters.

EUBFE Launched Its Maiden Business Climate Report and Signed MoU with Ministry of Finance

Cover PageIMG 20220407 145953 408Nahom F. Abraham-EUBFE Executive Director
 
 
 

On April 6, 2022 EUBFE launched its maiden “Business Climate Report-2021” in the presence of high-level officials including H.E. State Minister of Finance H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, H.E.Mrs. Lelise Neme-EIC commissioner, H.E. Ambassador Roland Kobia-EU Ambassador to Ethiopia and H.E. Kassahun Gofe, State Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration. 

 

The report was developed in response to the need to bolster public-private dialogue between the FDI community and the public sector with evidence-based input that would, in turn foster constructive and sustainable partnership. The report's findings will be used as the foundation for further analyses and studies that will inform ensuing PPDs between the FDI community and the government. Preparation to this end has been completed, with relevant resources already mobilized. The EUBFE business climate report is based on a survey of more than 80 European businesses with operations in Ethiopia, conducted in mid-2021. It was commissioned and managed by EUBFE, and supported by the two bilateral member associations; the French Business Association in Ethiopia (CAFE) and Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA).

The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the Ethiopian business environment and investment climate by the international business community, with clear evidence on what the active international business community think about their Ethiopian investments as of mid-2021, and how they view prospects for future investment. The cooperation of government ministries and agencies was commendable throughout the study, with pertinent data extended to the experts in a timely fashion. The key challenges identified were in the areas of tax, customs, delay in the renewal of licenses, access to foreign exchange, unpredictability of the business climate. With the support of the EU, further studies and analyses will be made on these findings to develop clear policy recommendations. 

 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Finance and EUBFE (including its member associations CAFE, and ENLBA) was also signed during the launch ceremony. The MoU will pave the way for a structured dialogue between the European FDI community and the ministry. Mrs. Semerata Sewasew signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. 

 

A panel discussion was held following the MoU signing ceremony, ENLBA and CAFÉ presidents as well as the EU Ambassador and EIC deputy commissioner-Ato Temesgen Tilahun, exchanged views on the finding of the report and related issues on ways of improving the business climate. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception an informal networking session. 

 
You my access the full content of the report via the link below.

Cover Page

 

 

 

On April 6, 2022 EUBFE launched its maiden “Business Climate Report-2021” in the presence of high-level officials including H.E. State Minister of Finance H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, H.E.Mrs. Lelise Neme-EIC commissioner, H.E. Ambassador Roland Kobia-EU Ambassador to Ethiopia and H.E. Kassahun Gofe, State Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration. 

The report was developed in response to the need to bolster public-private dialogue between the FDI community and the public sector with evidence-based input that would, in turn foster constructive and sustainable partnership. The report's findings will be used as the foundation for further analyses and studies that will inform ensuing PPDs between the FDI community and the government. Preparation to this end has been completed, with relevant resources already mobilized. The EUBFE business climate report is based on a survey of more than 80 European businesses with operations in Ethiopia, conducted in mid-2021. It was commissioned and managed by EUBFE, and supported by the two bilateral member associations; the French Business Association in Ethiopia (CAFE) and Ethiopia-Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA).

The report provides an up-to-date assessment of the Ethiopian business environment and investment climate by the international business community, with clear evidence on what the active international business community think about their Ethiopian investments as of mid-2021, and how they view prospects for future investment. The cooperation of government ministries and agencies was commendable throughout the study, with pertinent data extended to the experts in a timely fashion. The key challenges identified were in the areas of tax, customs, delay in the renewal of licenses, access to foreign exchange, unpredictability of the business climate. With the support of the EU, further studies and analyses will be made on these findings to develop clear policy recommendations. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Finance and EUBFE (including its member associations CAFE, and ENLBA) was also signed during the launch ceremony. The MoU will pave the way for a structured dialogue between the European FDI community and the ministry. Mrs. Semerata Sewasew signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. 

A panel discussion was held following the MoU signing ceremony, ENLBA and CAFÉ presidents as well as the EU Ambassador and EIC deputy commissioner-Ato Temesgen Tilahun, exchanged views on the finding of the report and related issues on ways of improving the business climate. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception an informal networking session. 

 

You my access the full content of the report via the link below.

EUBFE Business Climate Report-2021

 

Joint Workshop between EUBFE and Ethiopian Customs Commission Delivered

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A joint workshop organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian Customs Commission was held on April 15, 2021 The basis of this workshop is the list of specific issues that were submitted by the EU Business Forum to the commission, following a mini survey disseminated amongst members. Some 40 logistics managers and staff members from EUBFE member companies took part. From the Customs Commission’s side, a number of directors including Mrs. Abeba Kiros- Director, Strategic Partnership Directorate, Ato Endashaw Temesgen -Director, Import goods procedure and support directorate as well as Mrs. Gennet Abreham - Director, Manufacturer and Export Trade Procedure and Support took the podium to lead the Q&A session.

The objectives of the workshop were
• to present the key systems that are instituted that would enable swift release of goods, within the 10/15 days deadline
• to discuss on the issues and challenges submitted by member companies, including but not limited to o repetitive inspections, rejection of transaction values, LC extension related challenges, duty free imports privilege rejection, lack of clarity on investment on logistics sector, missing HS codes on single window and consolidation of goods

Based on the queries raised by participants, the panelists as well as the other invited guests from ECC provided detailed explanation upon the return of participants from health break. The explanations were made by the panelists as well as Ato Habtamu Tilahun from Legal Directorate, Mr. Behailu Bedasso (lead valuation expert) from Valuation Directorate, Ato Sebsbie Fekade from ESW (team coordinator), Mr. Zewdu Tsehay from transit and warehouse directorate (lead expert) and Ato G/Egziabher G/Tsadik (deputy manager) from Kality Customs branch.

A summary of the responses is as below.

  • Price valuation is tolerated if it falls between 5-10% of ECVS. Regardless, the ECVS is being updated to reflect current prices and add new commodities; it is now at a pilot stage
  • Companies need to supply complete documents to enable ECC assessors make informed decision. In this regard, for ECC to be convinced of transaction value, sales contract needs to be submitted on top of LC and commercial invoices.
  • Price valuation remains a contentious area.
  • The first 4-6 digits of HS code are usually the same globally and the remaining will differ according to country context. Transiters should have the ability to navigate this.
  • The Ethiopian Single Window system (ESW) is currently serving the business community. Some 16 companies, mainly banks and insurance companies operate within this framework. Training is being provided to the business community on ESW on a continuous bases and based on needs experts will be happy to extend one to EUBFE members.
  • In situations where system failure happens in partner organizations, like Ministry of Agriculture, the ESW secretariat will be happy to intervene to support business in clearing their commodities on time.
  • The 10/15 days deadline kicks in on the day T-1 is validated. This means the day the shipment arrives in its designated warehouse, be it in Modjo, airport or even ECC certified duty-free warehouses.
  • Pre arrival clearance is indeed actively applied although some transiters do not seem to use this opportunity. However, it is one area that is targeted for improvement since it lacks harmonization across branches and does not meet international standard.
  • ECC is committed to developing the capacity of its staff. It also takes note that some of the challenges are rooted in absence of the right skills. ECC is open to partner with stakeholders including the private sector to this end.
  • The issue of expanding the privileges being an AEO to other government agencies has been tabled for consideration at the prime minister’s office. In this manner, law abiding companies will have significant benefits.
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