Business leaders and top investors in the country have come together in a joint campaign to promote Ethiopia as a prime investment and development hub.
The Coca-Cola led initiative, dubbed ‘GOING BIG IN ETHIOPIA, brings together business leaders from the manufacturing, agriculture, services sectors and Government. The Campaign includes a specially commissioned short film featuring testimonies of different investors currently operating in Ethiopia, and was premiered at a high profile event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Addis Ababa on June 20th, 2019.
Speaking during the launch of this campaign, the Ethiopian Investment Commissioner, Mr. Abebe Abebayehu, said the government’s transformative administration to move the country from a state-led economy to a market-led economy has encouraged further investment from the private sector.
“Ethiopia is now top of the fastest growing economies in the world. With the strong economic performance, infrastructural developments and ongoing market liberalization, Ethiopia is treading on the right path to becoming Africa’s leading investment hub. Increased foreign direct investment and participation of the Private sector confirm sustained growth can only be achieved through concerted efforts”, Mr. Abebayehu said.
He noted the Government’s emphasis to invest in development activities such as infrastructure and manufacturing seeks to facilitate the entry of foreign investors and promote incentives. The goal is to industrialize the country and create employment opportunities thus raise the living standards of the Ethiopian people and become a middle-income economy.
Business leaders and stakeholders participating in the campaign include; The Coca-Cola Company, Ethiopian Investment Commission, Tourism Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, Moenco Africa; Moyee Coffee; H&M Ethiopia and renowned Olympic champion and businessman, Haile Gebreselassie.
In the short GoingBigInEthiopia Film, the leaders also illustrate why they have continued to invest in Ethiopia. Some of the key areas highlighted include the growing infrastructure set up, rich cultural heritage inherent in a robust workforce, which create a favorable environment for business growth.
Speaking on behalf of the participating business leaders, Bruno Pietracci, President of the Southern and East Africa Business Unit of the Coca-Cola Company, noted that, Coca-Cola has been operating in Ethiopia for about 60 years and just like the other businesses participating in the campaign, the company believes in Ethiopia’s growth story and transformation agenda of becoming one of Africa’s top manufacturing hubs.
“We are witnessing rapid economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and believe that sustainable development on the continent is inevitable. Ethiopia’s growth story is unique; it’s the diplomatic capital of Africa as the seat of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission, enabling access to the rest of the continent and cementing the country’s commitment to achieving inclusive growth and shared prosperity for its citizens and the region”, Pietracci said.
Business leaders also pledged openness to other future collaborations and strategic partnerships on key government initiatives that support the country’s socio-economic agenda. There was a call to action for the investors to take advantage of the comprehensive investment climate reforms being spearheaded by the Government for continued growth. So far, growth has been heavily dependent on public sector investment.
The initiative comes even as Ethiopia continues to become an investment hotspot in Africa, whilst FDI flows to the rest of the continent continued to decline, Ethiopia attracted more FDI than ever before in 2017; foreign investment showed a continued increase in the past decade – reaching a record USD 4.2 billion in 2017. With a record growth of 46 percent FDI flow, the country has become one of the largest recipients of FDI in the continent according to the World Bank Global Economic Prospect (2017).