UK Companies’ Complaints Get PM’s Attention

UK companies operating in Ethiopia stepped into the Prime Minister’s office on March 7 with complaints over logistics, transport and customs clearance and received an encouraging response from Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

“It was encouraging that the prime minister was willing to engage with British businesses. This meeting was a great opportunity for him to hear about current problems, some of which he has undertaken to try to resolve.

But he was also able to learn of the companies’ enthusiasm for doing business in Ethiopia and their very positive take on the long-term potential of this country.” Greg Doery, UK ambassador to Ethiopia explained to The Reporter via email.

PM Hailemariam urged the various federal institutions to resolve the problems as quickly as possible afterwards, The Reporter has learnt. Diageo, the owner of Meta Brewery, Tullow Oil, Pittards, New Age, Startex International, and Unilever, which is currently aiming to opening its factory to produce detergents in Ethiopia are among the companies that reached out to the office of the premier.

Major problems raised during the meeting relate to logistics, transport and customs clearance which are typically related with long delays and hence high transaction costs. Moreover, slowness in issuing mining exploration licenses, fast-tracking imports for oil and gas exploration industry, challenges with power supply and tendering system with new central bank ratios of debtequity (5050) which contrasts with international norms were central in the discussion.

Trade between UK and Ethiopia recently increased as Ethiopia’s export has grown by nearly 50 percent and import to Ethiopia has grown by nearly 30 percent despite the fact that this figure was higher in 2012. The trend with UK investors has also increased as investment up markedly over the past six years.

The companies’ joint statement uttered through the ambassadors assure that Ethiopia has become a place of attraction for many UK investors and companies, however, they put their resentment forward that those problems indicated shall have adjusted to promote the opportunity to save the government money and reduce the scope for corruption.

Source : The Reporter

Leave a Reply