Private Sector said to be essential for post-MDGs strategy

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Integrating the Private Sector, was said to be essential to meeting the post 2015 national development plans at a discussion held on December 11th in Addis Ababa at Desalegn Hotel.

Ethiopia was one of the 189 countries that promised in 2000 to implement the various social and economic goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), being among the 50 countries chosen for national dialogue for the Post MDGs strategy.
Ethiopia is reported to be on track to meeting five out of the eight MDGs, while it is lagging behind with regards to achieving gender equality, maternal mortality and environmental sustainability.  
Dr. Abraham Tekeste, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) said the nationwide discussion on post 2015 MDGs is essential as an input to the post 2015 MDGs development framework being organized under the supervision of the United Nations.  It’s also seen as setting the stage for programs to be done after the five years Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) which coincides with the end of the MDGs period. 
Mulu Solomon President of ECCSA said ‘in order for the GTP goals to be met and set the stage for the post- MDG goals industries such as big commercial farms, animal farms development and transaction, agro-processing, tourism and mining development have to be focus areas for development.’
She further said that issues such as finding appropriate working place for legal small and big traders as well as established and start ups for trading and manufacturing purposes, facilitating ways to promote entrepreneurship and investments, creating a competitive financial sector that’s open starting from the smallest business and building the capacity of the business community should be worked out to achieve these goals.
Other issues mentioned were keys for meeting the aforementioned goals such as good governance, justice, creating a skilled manpower through competent educational institutions and curriculums, a strong work ethics and a strong working class to be created through policies and stipulations.
Amin Abdella an economist in his presentation said that the objective of this meeting is to assess the current state of the private sector, identify challenges and put forward recommendations that would be considered in the post-2015 development plan of the country.
He however said the full potential of the private sector vis-a-vis its potential to meet the post 2015 national development plans will be difficult to fully implement without good business environment.
In World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking for 2012, Ethiopia slipped two notches down compared to last year, standing at 127th place among 185 countries measured in the report.  It came out worst in the “Starting Business” and “Trading Across Borders” criteria, while with regards to “Dealing with Construction Permit” and “Enforcing Contracts”  showed to be where it achieved the best.
Issues for consideration in the post-2015 national development plans presented in the document include preparing the Private Sector Development Strategy, improving the reliability of economic performance statistics, improving the predictability of government policies, technological transformation, modernization of institutions and ensuring the independence of the judiciary as per the provision of the Constitution.
However, three recommendations that are bound to be a point of contention are the proposals for reconsidering the compulsory purchase of National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) bond by 27 percent of the loans given by private banks, improving the respect for property rights and reduce tax compliance costs.                            
The discussion organized by the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was the third of its kind to be organized after similar events were held in Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa.