Consultative forum with PM to tackle tax and multimodal issues

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Tax and multimodal issues are to be addressed at the National Business Conference organized by the Ethiopian Chamber Public Private Consultative Forum (EPPCF) that will be chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The forum is going to be held on the coming Thursday, June 27.
Since its formation, EPPCF has organised five forums that focused on different sectors. One recent example is the forum which focused on the tourism sector held in April among the three forums organised in the current budget year.
Teshome Beyene, Head of EPPCF, told Capital that 14 main points will be raised by the private sector at the conference. “We are very excited that it has been confirmed that the prime minister will attend, and in fact, chair the conference,” the EPPCF head said.
Though not often, heads of government have met with the private sector on different occasions. For instance, Hailemariam has held discussions with the private sector in October 2012 after he became prime minister. However, these  events are not quite similar to the coming conference, which has specific agendas to be discussed and debated upon.
According to the organizers, they expect that some of the issues raised will be resolved after the Consultative Forum.
“While problems related to regulation and administration issues may take some time, we expect more positive responses from government officials than previous similar events,” Teshome said.
According to Teshome, the private sector will also propose a private sector development plan. “This is the basis for a clear direction on the future involvement of the private sector in the country’s development,” he added.
The investment climate and other major points that can harmonise public private relations will also be the points that the government needs to give more attention to, said Teshome.
Since the commencement of these forums three years ago, the private sector had been able to explain its problems to high-level government officials in the various sectors of the economy and the majority of the problems that were raised had been resolved after the discussion.
Most members of the chamber and business sector approved the solutions that followed such forums. “Most of the dialogues have been fruitful,” Teshome explained.
“Based on past experience, we expect solutions for the problems we currently face and which will be raised during the coming conference,” he said.
The conference will be held at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) and is organised based on the agreement under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed three years ago between Girma Birru, former Minister of Trade and Industry and Zafu Eyesuswork, former president of ECCSA, to enhance the collaboration between the two sides and boost private sector growth.
According to the organisers, about 250 participants from the private sector and relevant government offices will attend the conference. The issue of tax, which is popular on most of the consultative forums, private sector involvement in multimodal transport and a legal framework to replace the current MoU, are some of the issues that are expected to be raised at the conference. The weakness of the public private partnership on investment and concerns on clarity of regulatory laws will also be discussed. The private sector will stress the necessity of a strategic paper about the future of the private sector, especially the tourism sector,  according to the organisers.