EIC says $500 mln generated from FDI amidst pandemic woes

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Ethiopia has generated 500 million dollars in revenue from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

According to Lelise Neme, EIC commissioner, the commission has achieved 50 percent of its goal despite the numbers showing 20 percent decline in relations to the same period, the prior year.

The percentage allocation of the revenue share include; Agriculture sector shares which stood at 11 percent of the revenue, the service sector which was 47 percent, and the manufacturing sectors shares which came in at 42 percent of the total revenue.

The 20 percent decline was as a result of the surge of the pandemic that has hit the globe hard. Given the circumstances, the commissioner acknowledged that the amount generated this fiscal year is considered a success in its right.

Additionally, the country has earned 46.1 million dollars in revenue from exports in the industrial parks which accounts for 71 percent of the targeted 64.8 million dollars.

Lelise explained that in the last three months 44 projects had received implementation and an additional 36 projects had started their operation. According to Lelise the highest investment registered is from china.

Regarding job creation outside of the industrial parks, 3795 job opportunities have been created and 10,864 jobs have been created within the industrial parks. A cumulative of 14,659 job opportunities has therefore been created in the last three month.

Apart from project implementation, the commissioner noted that the Commission has been supporting investors and assessing the contributions of firms in terms of tax, employment, among others.

Lelise echoed that as part of the commission’s support it has streamlined itself with the government in preparing a recovery package that will help businesses that faced vandalization and property damage following the riots that ensued after the assassination of the famous Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa, on 29th of June.

“Associating with different relevant governmental sectors the commission is conducting a study on the damages that have paralyzed the businesses and the significant support mechanisms for the recovery processes of business are being undertaken,” said Lelise.

“When it comes to this kind of support, we have liaised with the Ministry of Finance which will officiate the details of the support to the businesses,” she said, indicating that the support includes import of vandalized machineries duty free, provision of loans from banks to the businesses and revision of existing loan repayment terms, among others.

“A directive with full details of the support of the government to the businesses will soon be revealed by the Ministry of Finance. However, until the details are completed by the Ministry the commission is working round the clock to give urgent support,” she added.

Societal awareness being one of the challenges that the commission faces, the commissioner has stated that the local community will be engaged on where the investment projects are located in cooperation with regional governments and investment offices.

“The commission will also give priority to the local community in the working investment projects, so as to benefit the community directly,” she explained.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, October 19, Lelise stated that the government will no longer focus on building governmental industrial parks rather the focus will shift on attracting investors to build their own industrial parks. Lelise expressed that the ongoing Semera industrial park will be the last government-built park.

But according to Sandokan Debebe, CEO of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC), there is no such kind of direction set by the government.

“The decision depends on the market and economic policy, for now there is no decision to stop building industry parks,” stated the CEO, adding that making sure the existing parks are fully operational remains as the target focus as opposed to building new parks.

The CEO informed Capital that the corporation is preparing a spatial plan to support coordination of the industrial park construction. The corporation is also targeting the completion of Semera industrial park in the current fiscal year. The cooperation is also looking forward to the construction of Adama Huna Industrial park which is being loan-financed by the China Exim Bank.