Nordic potential investors are keen to enter the race for investment opportunities in Africa’s fastest growing economy, Ethiopia.
Since the decision by the Ethiopian government to privatize some of the State Owned Enterprises (SOE), the move has caught the attention of foreign firms looking to exploit the opportunities presented to them.
Royal Norwegian Embassy and Embassy of Sweden held a meeting at the Sheraton Addis Hotel, Addis Ababa that attracted several Nordic participants. The meeting themed “Nordic Solutions for Business Development” aimed at providing solutions for the Ethiopian government as well as looking at possible avenues to introduce Nordic products that fit the ready-made market.
The Nordic businesses addressed some concerns that affect the business environment and may hinder the growth and expansion of their business operations in Ethiopia. Despite the attractive business climate in the East African country, there are some challenges to be tackled to increase the inflow of foreign direct investments to steer the economic progress of the nation.
Among the participants in the discussion were ABB, an electromechanical and technology company, AARO systems, an accounting firm, SOZO Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in health sector investments, MIKRA, a vehicles solution provider, Indezi, a leather product exporting company, H&M, a textile manufacturer, Ericson, a telecom multinational.
Telecom reach limitation and the power outage was a setback highlighted by Marie Nielsen, Founder, and CEO of Penda Manufacturing, a private paper-recycling company located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In July this year, a report published saw the government had splashed over $162 million to address the power outage.
Amen Hultström, the General Manager of SOZO observed that the industrial parks, access to bank loans, financial incentives and the access to new sectors like Telecom, energy, and logistics are clear signals showing the willingness to change, learn and support both local and foreign investors by the government.