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The Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) is going to continue evaluating investment licenses on a regular basis to see the performance of the businesses.
“We will continue with the evaluation work we have been doing to see if those owning investments licenses are actually doing some work. There are many that are just sitting idle on plots of land instead of commencing operations,” said Fitsum Arega Director General of EIA said during a press briefing regarding the Agency’s 6 month performance on Tuesday February 25th.
He said that the Agency will continue to take legal action against those who delay projects or which do not go into production without an acceptable reason or justification.
The Agency revoked investment licenses of over 2,000 projects in early February. Some of the reasons for the licenses to be revoked include failure to renew the investment licenses as well as not starting the operations for which the license is issued.
It was also stated that those interested in investing will need to have a capital of not less than USD 200,000. According to the Director General, previously there were gaps in the process of issuing investment licenses. “Now we are working on filling those gaps and making sure that those interested in investing do indeed have the capacity to do so and we will be keeping better track of them after acquiring the license as well,” he said.
Regarding the performance, the Agency stated that 102 projects with an added capital of 6.8 billion birr have gone operational in the last six months of the fiscal year. Fitsum further stated that the initial target was for 132 projects with 10.12 billion birr capital to begin operating, thus the Agency has met 61 percent of its target.
“When this is compared to last full year’s performance which was 7 billion birr, it is still a big achievement,” the Director General stated. He also stated that when the organizations received their business licenses, they have been able to provide job opportunities for 5,862 people.
Among the stated projects, 17 of them are manufacturing companies that will be exporting their products.
In order to encourage investment, the Agency through representing the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), has approved 4.693 billion birr worth of duty free privilege for 961 requests made. The duty free requests includes: 684 for manufacturing materials, 93 for construction materials, 143 for spare parts, 11 workshop materials, 11 laboratory equipments and materials as well as 19 for vehicles. Most of those that received the duty free privileges are in the sectors of textile horticulture and leather