Ethiopia to establish foreign chambers of commerce

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To support its accelerated development, the Ethiopian government has given goodwill undertakings to attract foreign, mainly American, investors, currently conspicuous by their absence, the Indian Ocean newsletter (ION) wrote.According to the Paris-based ION, they are currently working on an amendment to allow the establishment of foreign chambers of commerce in Ethiopia. “The government wants to show its commitment to foreign entrepreneurs that it is listening to some of their demands – evidenced by the efforts of the Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom. He recently persuaded the Justice Minister Getachew Ambaye and the director of the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA), Fitsum Arega, that that Ethiopia should review its legal framework to facilitate the business environment,” ION reported. This initiative follows the official visit on 28 July 2015 by US President Barack Obama. He had then informed Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn that before US corporations can establish in Ethiopia, he should pass laws to give a legal status to business organisations and ensure their independence vis-á-vis the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, according to ION. Barack Obama also made improved intellectual property protection a condition for the establishment of US companies. “He did not appreciate seeing in Addis Ababa counterfeit versions of large US chains such as Intercontinental, KFC and Starbucks Coffee,” the ION stated.

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