Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

World Economic Forum comes to Addis

This May one thousand of the most influential leaders in the world will converge in Addis Ababa for the annual World Economic Forum.
The organizers, Precise Consulting International PLC (PCI), a premier consulting firm operating in Addis Ababa and New York City, told Capital that this is a major investment summit to link Ethiopian business chief excutive officers (CEOs) with leaders of global multinational corporations and foreign investors.
“This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to seal meaningful business deals with Global Multinational Corporations and Foreign Investors here in our midst. This opportunity has not been available in the past for Ethiopian business CEOs,” said Henok Assefa, Managing Partner of Precise Consult International.
The young and prospective managing partner insisted that it is a challenge selling high end products in advanced countries where Global Multinational Corporations dominate the market. To mke an attempt to penetrate the world market, Henok advises, people need to do more than just show up to this meeting.
“There are 400 senior business executives from Ethiopia and senior government decision makers taking part in this meeting. The Ethiopian businesse executives are expcted to dig, do their homework and prepare a one minute elevator business speech to these massively influential people,” he continued.  
“Precise Consult and partners will consider this event a success when we manage to seal many investment and sales deals that create jobs and investment in Ethiopia. We dug and did our homework and are now ready to provide as much information and support as possible to aid our business leaders ahead of time. Our office is open to all interested business executives to take that information,” Henock asserted.
Capital learnt that the senior managers of major Multinational Corporations like Dupont, General Electric, Mitsubishi, Unilevel; mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, top business and finance advisories like McKinsey, Ernst and Young, and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) will take part in this big event. And in fact investment fund managers from across the continent, have all been regular attendees of these events in the past few years. Addis is no exception, according to the organizers.  In the eyes of Precise Consult International (PCI), with the global economy in taters and the current rise of Africa as an important economic destination, visiting Addis in May is seen as one opportunity in finding African space for investment. “With more than 90 percent of the guests holding top decision making leadership positions, the forum represents a sizable opportunity for Ethiopia in general and for business leaders in particular to cash in on sustantial business opportunities for investment and sales deals,” he encouraged Ethiopians to take note of the situation.
According to PCI the other main objectives of the Ethiopia Investment Summit 2012 is to rebrand Ethiopia as a location for foreign investment and to provide foreign corporate leaders credible research and information about the emerging dynamics driving Ethiopia’s macro and microeconomic sector opportunities.
“Given the objectives and the opportunity at hand, PCI has been supported by many public and private actors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular has jumped at the opportunity and provided wide ranging support to the organizers to ensure success,” Henock told Capital describing the deep involvement of the government in the success of the Forum.  
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Despite differences with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the figure, the official statistics shows that the nation has recorded eight consecutive years of double-digit GDP growth underpinned by dynamic across-the-board expansions in agriculture, services, and industry. This achievement, however, is only indicative of the immense opportunities– not just in raw materials and mining but also in energy, transport, infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness, and services.
“With a population of 85 million strategically located at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Ethiopia is truly a rising African tiger economy,” Henock concluded.