Ethiopia to host EU business forum (www.theafricareport.com du 09/06/2011)

Ethiopia will host its first European Union (EU) business forum in Addis Ababa on 10 June 2011. The meeting aims to enhance trade ties between Ethiopia and EU member states.

The business forum, organized by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Ethiopia in collaboration with the diplomatic corps of EU Member States accredited to Ethiopia, also intends to bring Ethiopian businesses closer to Europe.

“The business forum is a signal that many active investors in Ethiopia have a strong link to the EU. It also intends to bring Ethiopian businesses closer to Europe. The role of foreign companies (as regards, ed) Ethiopia ‘s Growth and Transformation Plan is being discussed, as well as opportunities and challenges to invest in Ethiopia.

« The conference also envisages presenting selected financing opportunities for companies offered by EU Member States,” said the EU delegation to Ethiopia.

The European Union, according to the delegation, is the world’s largest single market with more than 500 million consumers, and 30 percent of all Ethiopian exports goes to its member states making the union the largest market for the Horn of Africa country.

“One reason for this is that Ethiopian businesses enjoy preferential conditions to export to the EU with duty and quota free entry for all products. The EU has also traditionally been an important investor in Ethiopia,” said the EU delegation.

According to them, between 2000 and 2008, companies from EU Member States invested over €2 billion in Ethiopia. The average cost for a single investment license is over €1million.

Five EU countries, namely Britain, Germany,  Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, accounted for more than 84% of the total amount.

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