Over 40 bln birr projects licensed in GTP period

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Addis Ababa, 27 June 2014 (WIC) – Close to 3,000 investment projects with a combined capital of 40.6 billion birr were licensed during the past four years of the growth and transformation plan period, the Ethiopian Investment Agency said.   

According to Getahun Negash, Public Relations Director at the Agency, 805 of the projects have already started production.   

Most of the projects are in the manufacturing sector, while the remaining are in agriculture and services sectors.   

Chinese companies are the first in terms of number of projects, with 121 followed by the U.S with 106 licensed projects during the reported period.   

Sudanese, Indian, Canadian, Turkish, Britain and Israeli companies placed third to eighth in terms of number of projects, Getahun added.       

Chinese companies are also on top in terms of registered capital of 9.8 billion birr, followed by Turkish companies with 8.5 billion birr aggregate capital.

In addition to the capital flow, the foreign direct investment helped for technology and knowledge transfer, he added.   

"One of the basic drives for the government to work for increased FDI flow is the need for huge capital. The second is the need for technology this includes technology management. The third and the basic drive is the need to improve competitiveness of Ethiopian industries at the global market."

Lack of coordinated work among government agencies, challenges related to power interruption and land management are the basic challenges investors encountered during the GTP period, Getahun elaborated.   

The government is introducing a single window system to enable all international trade processes use a single electronic window thereby ending bureaucratic systems investors are forced to deal in various agencies.   

Seven government agencies will provide their services using this single window at the federal level. Four of the agencies are already start to provide their service using this system, Getahun said.   

Issues related to land and water provision will be dealt by the respective regional administrations.   

Last year, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority and the International Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) signed a 7.3 million USD agreement to establish an electronic single window system for international trade.

The establishment of the single window system will make the international trade more efficient, by reducing import, export and transit procedures, and the time and cost of clearing documents.   

According to ENA, the system is expected to make the country’s business more competitive and attractive.