A trade and investment promotion workshop jointly organized by the London Chamber of Commerce and the Ethiopian Embassy in the United Kingdom was held on 3rd November in London. The workshop was organized under the theme “Ethiopia: A Market on the rise.”

In his opening remarks, H.E. Ambassador Berhanu Kebede underlined the government’s keenness to promote trade and investment in Ethiopia, where there is an enabling environment for UK and other investors. The Ambassador noted that the government has put in place incentives and mechanisms to facilitate the engagement and operation of investors in all economic sectors including agriculture, the service industries and manufacturing.

 (l-r) British Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Norman Ling, UKTI’s Simon Brown and Ethiopian Ambassador to UK, H.E. Berhanu Kebede

British Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Norman Ling, dispelled the mistaken image that people generally have of Ethiopia, calling Ethiopia a Land of Opportunity. He said that “Ethiopia was booming” and outlined key sectors that were open to investors. He told participants that his Government is keen to support British investment in Ethiopia, which is instrumental in generating employment opportunity and promoting the transfer of technology. The Ambassador called on British investors to seek out opportunities in Ethiopia across a wide spectrum of sectors, including railways, education, construction, hydroelectric power, telecommunications, tourism, and pharmaceuticals.

 

The workshop drew more than 30 participants including UK based industries such as Nyota Minerals who have recently begun gold mining operations. Nyota’s executive chairperson praised Ethiopia for its investor-friendly attitude and the accessibility of key ministries. Leather company Pittards, which has been working with Ethiopia for more than 100 years, expressed its delight with their Ethiopian Tannery Co which they bought in 2008 and which was named World Tannery of the Year this year.

Case studies were presented by Demissie Asafa of Goh Capital Partners, by Daniel Gad of Omega Farms who has returned from the USA to farm in Ethiopia and by Orlando Ames-Lewis of UK Trade and Investment in East Africa. Daniel spoke of current trends and opportunities in agriculture and the agro-processing sector in Ethiopia. Orlando also spoke on developments in East Africa including Ethiopia and on the benefits of joining the upcoming UKTI trade mission to the region.

Workshop chairman, Mr. Simon Brown from UKTI, in his closing remarks, urged participants to consider ample opportunities in Ethiopia, which has benefited from a decade of peace and relative prosperity, and which is making its major focus economic growth and development.