EUBFE Released Early COVID-19 Early Impact Assessment

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EUBFE conducted a survey to assess the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its member companies in Ethiopia. Key findings of the survey indicate that eventhough the on set of the virus was late in Ethiopia, witht the first case reported in mid-march, its impact was sharp and significant to many. Moreover, data indicated that at this early level estimation, many companies expect to recover from its impact in around a year's time. Concerns over safety and security were also flagged. To read the full report please follow the link below.

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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EUBFE Held Consultative E-Meeting with the new EIC Commissioner

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The new commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) held consultative meeting with the board of the EUBFE and the EU Delegation
Hosted by HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, head of the EU delegation to Ethiopia, the meeting was the first since HE Ms. Lelise Neme took helms at the commission
Following round of introductions and congratulatory messages on the appointment of HE Lelise from HE Ambassador Borgstam and Mr. Depraetere-Chair of EUBFE, representatives of the EU delegation and the EUBFE made power point presentations on the previous and current engagements of their respective institutions with the EIC.

On the discussion that ensued, EUBFE members indicated that despite the robust relationship established with the EIC and the tangible results registered, in particular via the public-private-dialogue (PPD) platform, a number of concerns of European FDI community remain unresolved. In addition to a more recent concern that is investment security, work permit renewal, logistical bottlenecks, foreign exchange shortage and uneven application of regulations and laws were pointed out. In response, HE Lelise pointed out that multi-regional forum, led by regional presidents and investment commissioners, has been established to oversee any concerns that might arise by investors and EIC will be happy to invite EUBFE to attend an upcoming meeting. Moreover, Commissioner Lelise promised to dedicate personnel and time to look into the challenges raised by EUBFE. In conclusion, EUBFE invited HE to an introductory meeting with members of EUBFE.

EUBFE held its first thematic networking event of 2020 on the sidelines of its general assembly

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EUBFE’s general assembly held on February 27, 2020 saw approval of external audit report of FY 2019 as well as review and approval of annual plan for 2020. Major strategic focus for the year 2020 include expansion of membership base, enhance engagement and advocacy work as well as add new services and ventures. The EU Delegation in Ethiopia has pledged some 300 thousand euros worth of technical assistance towards improving EUBFE and this was officially announced at the general assembly. This is believed to be an important contribution towards realizing the key strategic goals set by the board of management of EUBFE.

Following the general assembly, a thematic networking event that focused on the implementation of the new customs legislation took place. It was hosted in partnership with EUBFE’s member association, the Ethiopian Netherlands Business Association (ENLBA). A panel composed of distinguished guests that include Mr. Gaim Yibrah (Director of the Strategic Partnership Directorate- Customs Commission), Mrs. Elisabeth Getahun (President of freight Forwarders and Shipping Association) Mr. Getachew Zewdu (Representative of Clearing Agents), Mr. Hayo Hamster (President of ENLBA) as well as Mr. Ben Depraetere (Chair of EUBFE) led the discussion on the application of the new customs legislation 1160/19 and the challenges associated with it. Particular concern was the reduction of maximum allowable deadline of goods in customs warehouses to 15 days in dry ports and 10 at airport and the fine of 20% of customs value sanction who fail to remove their imports within these day limits. Mr. Gaim responded to questions and concerns on behalf of Customs Commission and took away some suggestions for further scrutiny.

 

EUBFE joined members of the diplomatic community in welcoming the new president of EU Commission on her maiden trip outside Europe

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On her first trip outside Europe as head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen visited Addis Ababa, on Saturday December 7 2019. On a speech she made during a reception organized by the EU Delegation to Ethiopia and the AU, Ms. Von Der Leyen underlined the important strategic alliance with Africa her leadership will pursue. She also congratulated the Ethiopian leadership for the reform they are engaged in and in particular the Prime Minister for winning this year's nobel peace prize EUBFE was represented by its co-chair Mr Timklienebenne (pictured with Von der Leyen) and its executive director Mr. Nahom F. Abraham at the evening reception.

The Fourth Thematic Networking Event of EUBFE took place

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EUBFE - LogoThe end of the year and the fourth  thematic networking event of EUBF took place on December 10, 2019 at the Golden Tulip Hotel. The theme of the evening was EUBFE-2020. On behalf of the board members of EUBFE, the executive director Mr. Nahom F. Abraham presented the key strategic directions EUBFE would follow in the year 2020 along three focus areas; expanding membership base, expanding services to members and strengthening engagement with the public sector. Following the presentation, board members conferred one-on-one with members to garner more information and perspectives on strengthening EUBFE's services further. The information gathered at the event will be used to enrich the plans of activities of EUBFE for the year 2020.

EUBFE signed MoU with Ministry of Trade and Industry

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A memorandum of understanding was signed between EUBFE, AmCham Ethiopia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) on the occasion of thematic networking event held on October 24th 2019. The MoU was signed by Ato Tekay Gebre Yesus, State Minister of MoTI, Mr. Ben Depraetere-Chairman of EUBFE and Mrs. Serena Capelleti-President of AmCham Ethiopia.

The signing of the MoU marks the onset of a constructive and sustained dialogue between MoTI and member companies of the respective associations. In the opening remarks of both Ato Teka and Ben, it was highlighted that it is indeed high time the private sector and the public one to work closely together and feed off each other experiences and expertise. Following the signing ceremony, a presentation on the major mandates, various services and directorates of the MoTI was made by guests from the ministry. Question and answer session followed the presentation, where participants raised queries and concerns.

Joint Workshop Organized together with Ministry of Revenue Held

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EU Business Forum in Ethiopia (EUBFE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Revenue (MoR) organized a training workshop for finance staff of member companies on October 17-2019 at the premises of MoR. The goal of the workshop was to equip participants with knowledge and skills in identifying fraudulent receipts. It is common knowledge that fraudulent receipts are causing considerable damage in the economy with some EU companies falling victim to such fraud. The training workshop was led by Ato Sisay Gezu, the director of the Intelligence and Investigation Directorate at MoR. During the lively discussion that followed the presentation, participants shared their experiences in combating illegal practices of such kind in addition to providing recommendations that would assist MoR.

This workshop is the one of the outcomes of the regular steering committee meeting held quarterly between the EUBFE and the MoR, as stipulated in the MoU signed between the two organizations.

 

E-CMS Themed Networking Event of EUBFE Took Place

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Second thematic networking event of 2019 took place in the presence of HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, head of EU Delegation on September 19th September at the headquarters of Total Ethiopia S.C.

Introduction to the electronic customs management system (E-CMS) was the theme of the event. The E-CMS is a new system that has been implemented for the Ethiopian Customs Commission for over a year, with funding from the European Union. Its goal is to improve and digitize the entire customs shipment mechanism and meet the dire need of fast and efficient movement of goods in Ethiopia.

HE Ambassador Johan Borgstam, in his opening remark, appreciated EUBFE for organizing such an event that would enable EU businesses to understand new developments that could improve their operations. Chairman of EUBFE also highlighted major achievements and challenges EUBFE face on the back of existing economic reforms. Subsequently, the country manager of the host of the evening Total-Ethiopia, Mr. Thibault Lesueur, extended his warm welcome to guests.

A presentation on the new customs management system was made by the representative of Webb Fontaine, the company that deployed the system. Details of the power point presentation are found on our downloads page.

The EU-Ethiopia Business Forum took place from 13-15 May in Brussels

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The EU-Ethiopia business forum took place in Brussels, attracting some 200 high-level investors from EU,  top officials from Ethiopian government as well as the EU Commission. Opening remark as well as presentations were made by Mr. Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) of the European Commission , HE Dr. Markos Tekle, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abebe Abebayehu, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission as well as Ms. Eleni Kyrou, Head of the European Investment Bank representative to Ethiopia and the African Union. The goal of the forum was to provide important and practical information to potential investors who are interested in doing business in Ethiopia.As part of the forum, the EU Business Forum (EUBFE) through its board chairman Mr. Ben Depraetere, moderated a panel discussion entitled “Doing Business in Ethiopia”. The panel was composed of three notable guests;  Mr. Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa,  Mr. Dougie Brew, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business Director Africa of Unilever and Mr. Melaku Ezezew, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sector Associations.

Breakout sessions on agro-processing, textile and apparel, ICT as well as Pharma sector took place in the afternoon following the opening remarks and panel discussion, where a number of EU companies shared their experiences of investing in these sectors in Ethiopia.

The frorum also featured a company visit. A delegation that included the EIC commissioner, EUBFE executive director, guests of the forum, representative from the EU commission as well as diplomats from the Ethiopian embassy in Brussels attended a half day visit to Desmet Engineers  & Contractors (DSEC)  based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

At the end of the forum, closing remark was delivered by Mr. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, in which he pointed out to policy conviction of the commission in promoting investmentin third countries via various instruments including the external investment plan.

The last day of the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum was dedicated to a morning-long networking and B2B session, where EUBFE was able to confer with a number of EU companies who showed interest to invest in Ethiopia.

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