Thai Companies Exploring Business Opportunity in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, September 25, 2018 (FBC) – Over 35 Thai companies drawn from food industry, auto spare part manufacturing and construction are exploring potential business opportunities in Ethiopia.
The representatives have today held a business-to-business meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian business persons.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association President, Elias Geneti told the delegation about the opportunities and incentives.
Saying the nation has many areas that Thai companies engage, he highlighted the potential in the agricultural sector.
“Ethiopia has a big potential of agricultural products that can be exported to Thailand and should be exponentially taped,” he added.
He also said that the country provides attractive incentives for companies that engage in the country.
“The Ethiopian government offers encouraging and attractive business incentives and packages including tax holidays and tax free import,” he said.
Director-General of Business Diplomacy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mesfin Gebremariam said that companies will have a competitive advantage if they invest in Ethiopia, due to its potential and location.
“Our country has a lot of comparative advantage due to massive agricultural resources and affordable and trainable labor. Textile and leather sub-sectors are good representations in this regard,” he pointed out.
Stating that the trade relation between Thailand and Ethiopia is still low and it is not up to the expectations of the two nations; he said “trade and investment relations should be further strengthened for mutual benefit of our nations.”
The total trade volume between Thailand and Ethiopia is 400 million USD between 2012 and 2017, of which Ethiopia imported goods worth of 370 million USD and exported 45 million USD.
He mentioned projects that the government has been engaged in creating conducive environment for investment by improving infrastructure network saying that the nation allocates close to 60 percent of its budget to capital expenditure of which the majority is devoted to roads and railways.
He said “investors find conducive business environment, sound economic policies, macro-economic stability, abundant natural resource, trainable workforce, low cost energy, sizable and captive market, and above all the government is facilitative.”
Thai Permanent Representative to UN Environment and UN-Habitat, Ambassador Cherdkiat Atthakor said “Ethiopia is a potential market and we need our business people to explore including the whole east Africa.”
Furthermore, Ambassador Atthakor stated that this is a good opportunity for the Thai business people in exploring in countries with potential market like Ethiopia.
Ethiopia imports automobile spare parts, machinery, rice, and edible oil while exports agricultural products to Thailand.
The relationship between Ethiopia and Thailand has flourished since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1960 and measures has been taken to further strengthen cooperation in health and investment.