Ethiopia’s online investment guide, iGuide was officially unveiled in Addis Ababa.
The online investment guide seeks to help investors discover opportunities in the country, business costs, key procedures and laws they may need to know before committing their money,
The iGuide was launched in the presence of Shumete Gizaw, Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology, Fitsum Arega, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The iGuide covers a wide range of topics deemed relevant to investment consideration and will serve as the first point of contact for domestic and international companies and businesspeople interested in investing in Ethiopia.
The platform highlights the various investment opportunities in the country and provides information on the costs, laws and regulations related to various aspects of investment, such as business set-up, labour, taxation, and access to land.
The iGuide was developed by the EIC with support from the ECA and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and was designed to attract productive investment into the country.
Investment can create a “win-win” scenario for the private sector as well as the host economy, said Mr. Shumete at the launch.
The Minister expressed hope that this communication and “empowerment” tool will serve to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ethiopian business ecosystem” and help “build impactful relations” with investors and assist the country in its quest to become a major manufacturing hub.
The iGuide, providing clear, relevant and reliable information, seeks to serve both the national and international investment community.
“Foreign investors rely on the small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy and local business have to be linked global supply chains,” stated Ms. Songwe.
According to the Executive Secretary, the iGuide should also help to promote domestic women-led businesses by providing “digital space in which women can seamlessly interact.”
The ultimate objective of the electronic investment platform is to promote productive investments catalysing the structural transformation process in developing countries.
Fitsum observed that many African countries were already undertaking important reforms to enhance their business environment and Ethiopia was no exception to this trend.
“The private sector needs to be in the driver’s seat of development,” he declared.
During the developmental phase of the project, UNCTAD and ECA provided technical assistance and capacity-building services to EIC professionals to develop the necessary skills to manage the platform and keep it up to date.
“The iGuides help agencies, such as the EIC, to build their capacity, identify further areas for reform and understand investor needs,” explained Isabelle Durant, Under-Secretary of UNCTAD, in a video message.
Unlike many other investment guides, the iGuide also contains feedback from the existing investment community in the host economy highlighting both the strengths and competitive advantages of the local business environment, as well as identifying areas for improvement.
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Egypt, PRL sign train engines contracts worth $466.3M
CAIRO – 16 November 2019: The Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) signed with PRL (Progress Rail Automotives) a number of contracts worth $466.3 million after a meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi that took place last week.
The American company will supply 50 train engines over 22 months, carry out long-term maintenance for 41 engines by June 30, and upgrade 50 others within 30 months since the conclusion of the deal. The company will also provide maintenance services and spare parts for those 141 train engines for 15 years. The value of contracts will be secured through soft loans, except for $27 million that will be paid by ERA’s treasury.
In July, ERA endorsed the technical specifications of two passenger railcars to be supplied by Transmashholding in September. Those are part of a contract to supply 1,300 railcars. One of the railcars will be tested in Hungary, so it will be granted the safety certification by the European Railway Agency. The other will be tested in Egypt. Afterwards, the first batch of railcars in the contract will be delivered in accordance with the timeline set by both parties.
The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce the 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.
The representatives of ERA and Transmashholding agreed to hold further visits and meetings to study the possibility of cooperation in rail infrastructure, mobile rail, workshops, new lines, and maintenance of existing railcars.
In the same month, an official source told Egypt Today that ERA needs 12 rail test machines to detect and repair defects in railroads revealing that contracts to purchase eight of those are being finalized.
ERA will receive four rail test machines worth €8.5 million by the end of 2020 supplied by an Austrian company with which a contract was signed a few months ago. The machines will enable the authority to better diagnose defects in the railroads which would increase the safety, and inhibit derailment accidents.
France-Africa Summit secretary general praises Egypt’s experience in infrastructure
Investment Minister Sahar Nasr meets with Secretary General of France-Africa Summit 2020 Stephanie Rivoal Reminisces- press photo
CAIRO – 8 November 2019: Ambassador Stephanie Rivoal Reminisces, the Secretary General of France-Africa Summit 2020, has hailed Egypt’s experience in the infrastructure field mainly with regard to the the sustainable and smart cities as well as digitization which she said offers investment opportunities to the private sector.
During her meeting with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, the French diplomat added that France prioritizes consolidating strategic relations with the African countries, topped by Egypt, the current president of the African Union.
The meeting is held on Friday as part of Reminisces’s current visit to Egypt to hold talks with the government on preparations for the anticipated summit, slated for June, 2020. This year’s summit will focus on the sustainable cities.
Several heads of state and government will address the summit and meetings among businessmen from all over the African continents will be held as part of the summit’s activities, Reminisces said.
About 1,000 investors representing major, small and medium sized- businesses have been invited to the summit, Reminisces added.
Meanwhile, Nasr asserted Egypt’s keenness on developing cooperation with France at economic, development and investment levels.
She hailed successes achieved through the French investments in Egypt which she said hit 5.2 billion dollars with 160 French companies operating in the country.
Egypt urges World Bank, IMF to support regional integrity in Africa
CAIRO – 18 October 2019: Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr called on the World Bank and IMF to boost their support to Egypt in achieving regional integrity and intra-trade in Africa, a press release on Friday read.
Addressing the Intergovernmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs and Development in Washington, Nasr called on the WB and International Monetary Fund to expand investments in the region.
The minister said that Egypt’s vision to face the slowdown in global economic growth and trade tensions is to achieve more economic integration and continue to take the path of reform to make our economies more competitive and attractive for investment, to achieve the aspirations of the world countries in growth and development.
Nasr explained that the Egyptian government has implemented a comprehensive economic and social reform program to promote sustainable growth, alleviate poverty, create good jobs, enable the private sector to promote growth, and provide opportunities for all sectors of society to participate in the economy, especially women and young entrepreneurs.
The Minister added that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the chairman of the African Union, has set the achievement of regional economic integration as a top priority.
Nasr also discussed Wednesday with the World Bank the provision of $500 million for the pollution control and solid waste management project in Egypt.
Nasr added in a statement that Egypt is also discussing with the World Bank raising the level of partnership to support the health and education sectors in Egypt.
For his part, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Farid Belhadj affirmed that Egypt is a very important country for the bank’s fields of work.
“Therefore the World Bank is keen to contribute effectively to the efforts exerted to achieve development in Egypt, especially in the field of infrastructure, in light of the economic and legislative reform that contributed to improving the investment climate in Egypt,”Belhadj explained.