The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has hinted plans of opening doors for foreign companies to invest in the country to boost the growth of the economy. Africa News
Addis Ababa / NationalTurk – His fourth foreign visit since taking over power in September after the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi saw him signing a deal lifting domestic restrictions on investors from Kenya.
After hampering attempts to open up to duty-free goods from across the Eastern and Southern Africa region, Kenya is now on course to get this opportunity to invest in Ethiopia.
The signing of this Special Status Agreement with Kenya to allow Kenyan firms to invest in the manufacturing sector in Ethiopia is a sign of a rapid change in Ethiopia’s stance towards its neighbour, a Nairobi research group Analysis Africa said, commending the agreement.
Prime Minister Desalegn flew to the Ugandan capital Kampala on his second visit since becoming prime minister and attended a Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa COMESA which many believe is a bold step towards key reforms from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has been negotiating its entry into the World Trade Organisation WTO but the country was unwilling in the past to open up its telecommunication and banking sectors for foreign investors.
When Prime Minister Desalegn took office, he went to Somalia to witness the swearing in of the Horn of African country’s new leader Mohamud Hassan, before traveling to New York for the General Assembly, his first time as Prime Minister.
It is believed he then travelled to Uganda to mark Uganda’s 50th independence anniversary before returning home to a meeting with South Sudan’s foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial to discuss possible investments on a refinery project between Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Many policy analysts in the region have lauded the new Ethiopian leader’s effort to open its borders on investment which will help increase Ethiopia’s Foreign Direct Investment FDI to complement the growth of the Ethiopian economy.
Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News