U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy arrived in Addis Ababa on November 28, ahead of his three-day visit to Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea.
Ambassador Michael Raynor and General Thomas D. Waldhauser of U.S. Africa Command were part of the touring pack. The official marked his debut visit to the country in July this year as an American Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia.
During his stay, the American met several Ethiopian government officials including Minister of Finance and Economic Development Ahmed Shide, Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Peace Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Defense Aisha Mohammed, Ethiopian Airlines’ COO Mr Mesfin Tasew and the VP for Strategy Planning and Alliances, Mr Henok Teferra.
Assistant Secretary Nagy reiterated his government’s support and effort towards Ethiopia’s economic reforms as well as political with both countries establishing strong working relations. The U.S will continue to assist the country better its business climate to attract more U.S firms in its economy and sustain their operations in East Africa’s investment hub.
Despite dubbed as the fastest growing economy, Ethiopia performed poorly in World Bank’s ease of doing business report published this year ranking 159 out of 190 countries surveyed. Its neighbouring countries Kenya and Rwanda registered positive growth in their rankings, 61 and 29 respectively. Ethiopia is looking to come back with the potential business investment opportunities in its market and revised business regulations such fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to drive FDI inflow in the country.
The U.S envoy highlighted issues to be considered by the African government in their pursuit for greatness such as access to foreign currency, improving customs and logistics, offering transparent procurement and tender processes, and enabling a legal environment that addresses commercial disputes in a fair way.
Last year, U.S. goods exports to Ethiopia were $877 million, a significant rise of 6.2 per cent from 2016. The U.S companies have invested in priority sectors in Ethiopia including textile, energy, aviation and agriculture.