Embassy hosts webinar on Ethiopia’s Booming Horticulture Industry
As part of the “Doing Business in Ethiopia” webinar series focusing on different sectors of investment in Ethiopia, the Embassy hosted its first webinar of 2021 on 4th February.
On the occasion, government officials and industry experts discussed the opportunities for trade and investment in Ethiopia’s booming horticulture industry.
Horticulture is among the top of Ethiopia’s priority agricultural sectors and the government has been giving the necessary support and incentives for investors. The sector is the fifth-largest foreign revenue earner for the country and has created employment opportunities for over 200,000 Ethiopians. The government also provides several incentives for investors in the sector including tax exemption and duty-free importation of machinery construction materials, spare parts, raw materials, and vehicles.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Teferi highlighted the importance of Ethio-UK bilateral relations, saying that the UK, over the years, “has demonstrated to be a good friend of Ethiopia” and that this was evident in the UK government’s announcement in December that it will double the amount of export finance available to UK companies doing business in Ethiopia.
The development of Ethiopia’s horticultural sector has been one of Ethiopia’s major success stories in recent years. With vast land, favourable climate, and abundant resources, this sector has attracted huge investment flow and has been steadily penetrating international markets over the last two decades.
Ambassador Teferi Melesse
“With new reforms underway, my government is seeking to incessantly employ policies and strategies for positioning Ethiopia as an attractive haven for productive investors,” the Ambassador said. “Appropriate institutional frameworks and very generous incentives have been put in place to encourage foreign investment inflow to our country.”
…Ethiopia a key trading partner of the UK
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Bates, the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, said, “With almost 15 years of continuous double-digit or near double-digit growth, this strong economic performance, with rising incomes and rising potential showcases why Ethiopia is a primary trading partner of the United Kingdom.”
“Horticulture remains an important Ethiopian export to the UK, with cut flowers forming 12% of total exports, some $7.7million in value,” Lord Bates said, adding that “With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I expect our local shops to be stocked with Ethiopian flowers.”
“Ethiopia is rich with farmland and richer in the potential to explore greater investment in agriculture, agro-processing, and an ever-greater diversity of farming products to be produced and sold…Ethiopia can be a breadbasket not just for the UK, but for the world. I hope that we can continue to encourage and explore greater UK-Ethiopian investment in this sector.”
Among the distinguished speakers was Mr. Wondale Habtamu State Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, who provided an overview of the horticulture sector and the incentives available for investors. Also from Ethiopia were Dr. Bayisa Bedada, Commissioner, Oromia Investment Commission, Dr. Getahun Mekonnen, Deputy Head, Amhara Industry and Investment Bureau, and Mr. Tewodros Zewdi, Executive Director, Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association.
We also heard from companies that have ventured into Ethiopia’s horticulture sector, including AfriFlora, Perennial Foods, and Durabilis, as well as the people behind the logistics at Ethiopian Airlines and Flying Swans in the Netherlands. Mr. Jeremy Lefroy, the former British Trade Envoy for Ethiopia also took part.
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